October 9, 2014

Why Do You Read Short Stories?

Why Do You Read Short Stories?

I’ve been writing short stories for eight years, and I tell you – never have I come across a more fascinating, fun, and inspiring literary form than short story writing.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve read many novels in my lifetime. Sidney Sheldon, Khaled Hosseini, Donald Goines – I run the gambit when to comes to novel reading. And I’ve loved what these novelists and other novelists have given me, in terms of my outlook on life and inspiration for writing.

But then I read Alice Munro’s short story, “Dimensions,” and it shook me to the core. “Action,” by Paul Theroux that churned up my boyhood past. Margaret Attwood’s “Stone Mattress” whose riveting imagery has left shocking images that appears in my mind to this day. These are just a few short stories that inspire me every day to keep writing, to make my own stories sharper, clearer, and if possible, shorter.

Of course, this is not to bash the novel – it deserves (and definitely has) its place in society. But I read short stories, namely, because they’re short – they pack as much meaning and excitement than some books struggle to do in 400 pages. I read short stories because they leave such lasting imprints on my mind, and I can actually remember all that happened in the story!

I read short stories because they’re like the overlooked middle child of reading, and they have their own secret beauty that the majority of people aren’t willing to understand. I read short stories because they are like a loving family member, who knows when to end their visit without you nudging them on their way. I read short stories because they’re just damn good, and they entertain in a highly unique, exciting way.

Why do you read short stories? Is it because they’re quick, they’re different, or something else? Leave your “story” as a comment below.

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