Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Survival of the Short Story!

I felt I had to tackle the subject after reading Cavan's recent post on the 'Death of the Short Story'. This is a very tricky and fascinating topic and one which is certainly multi-layered. The short fiction market is, no doubt, struggling, on numerous fronts, but I for one believe in this medium and am quite fond of it. I enjoy reading it and enjoy writing it more so.

When it comes to, I think the issue lies in the fact that there aren't many widely available and easy-accessed journals/mags, and people mostly have to subscribe to get their hands on a copy! And then again, the majority of these publications are in the higher-end of the market.

But as I am preparing a collection of short stories for publication, such matters directly affect me, whether I like it or not.

Like I said, I love short stories and feel strongly about them. That's why I've put Moments together. And I'm hoping that it will find many readers. I do believe that short fiction can be more effective, to a degree, than the novel form, in that it can be more instantaneous, powerful and intriguing.

I enjoy reading collections by a single author. It can be a lot of fun and I think there are many people who feel the same. It's just a matter of getting the right combination of stories and, as with everything else, targeting it at the right audience. I know a lot of people dismiss short stories and collections, but sometimes they can offer a different reading experince.

Look at what David Mitchell had achieved with Cloud Atlas. This was a very smart way of incorporating a multi-layered short story collection into one body and present it as a novel.

Perhaps that's where the survival of the short story lies. I'm hoping to find out when Moments comes out!

1 comment:

Cavan said...

I agree about any hard-copy literary mags. The fact that those don't have a very high circulation, I think, can be chalked up to the fact that most people aren't willing to invest in something that's essentially an unknown quantity every month/quarter/whatever.

What about online fiction, though? It's 100% free and much of it is just as good as anything that comes out in print? Why is it that these places are shutting down, if it's just the cost-factor that stops people from bothering with short fiction.

Like you, I love the short story. Here's hoping for its resurgence. And I can't wait until Moments is out, either!