Friday, February 4, 2011

Short Stories Anyone?

Pretty Monsters: Stories First off, I want to say, I'm so impressed with PRETTY MONSTERS. Not only the author's stories, but the fact she got them published. Most of us read the advice that there's no market for YA short stories. There are some compilation books out there like ZOMBIES VS UNICORNS, but those books are for heavy hitter authors. Kelly Link got a whole book of them, and all her own. Sure, the paranormal slant helps and she has had a few books published...still, I'm impressed.

Now, the main point of this post is to share how much I love short stories.

It started for me back in junior high with Ray Bradbury.
R Is for Rocket  
Did anyone else have to read THE VELDT? And A SOUND OF THUNDER? Cripes, how I loved those. And I sought out more.

Like Poe Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe And Vonnegut Breakfast of Champions
Then Hawthorne Young Goodman Brown and Other Tales (Oxford World's Classics)
And O. Henry  Works of O. Henry. (100+ Works). Including The Ransom of Red Chief, The Cop and the Anthem, The Gift of the Magi, A Retrieved Reformation, After Twenty ... & more.

As you might have guessed by my choices, I prefer a zinger...Twilight Zone style. It doesn't have to be a happy ending, but I want a twist or two along the way that adds perspective to the whole thing. I'll read slice-of-life stuff, but I prefer a clear point to my short stories.

What about you? What kinds or whose short stories do you like to read or write?


  1. I really enjoy short stories to. I'm still perfecting the craft. I like Poe a whole lot and Kate chopin. Kate really has some terrific ones out there.

  2. I need to read some Kate Chopin. I never have. And she has short stories? Sounds good to me.

  3. I've never been a fan of the short story. The ones I've read always left me wanting. Any suggestions on how to beat this?

  4. I second the terrific Kate Chopin stories. I remember reading some Hawthorne stories in HS and loving them, too--esp. "Rappacini's Daughter."

  5. Alicia- I'd suggest finding some short stories either by the author and/or in the genre you like best. Also, let go of your typical ideas of a's sort of like the difference between a Rembrandt and a Monet. A Rembrandt is gorgeous in its details, spelling everything out, making itself clear. A Monet suggests truthes about the world but doesn't spell them out for you.

    Don't get me wrong, though. Some novels can be like a Monet and some short stories like a Rembrandt, but generally it's the other way around.

    Oh. And it might also help to listen to some on audiobook.

  6. I admit I don't read a lot of short stories, but I did enjoy reading a great book about how to write them (can't remember the title but I did blog it). I found it really helpful to crafting chapters.

  7. LOVED, Poe and Henry in school.

    I just started to write short stories. I think it's time for another one...


  8. I'm a big fan of Poe. I even took a class in college dedicated just to him! I actually wrote primarily short stories for a good long time. I'm feeling a little nostalgic for them now...maybe I'll give one a try again!

  9. I'm a big Bradbury and Vonnegut fan. I liked the Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne but could not get past the first chapter of House of Seven Gables. Don't know why. One of the few books, I put down that way.

  10. I haven't read short stories much since high school and university - I usually prefer novels. But you've listed some terrific authors - I'll have to check them out.

  11. I agree with the "needing a point." I get the "moment in time," stories, but I really enjoy the ones with closure.

  12. I like short stories that are powerful and to the point. The voice has to be great. That is pretty impressive for any author to get a book of short stories published!