C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

Writers: The short form is roaring back

Ernest Hemingway's Grave

Image by gharness via Flickr

I met The Fab Rebecca Senese (I think of her as TFRS at all times) at the Writers’ Union symposium. We went to Tims and went through that excited decompression phase. You know the one. It’s where you are packed with new information to mesh and meld with your old data and you talk fast to get it all out and solidify new, useful neuropathways.

She made an observation that really got my attention:

Amid the hubbub, TFRS said that e-books were a sure opportunity for the short form to make a strong comeback. Got a short flight or need a distraction over lunch? Read a short story or two. If you just want to gulp down a tale but don’t have time for a whole book, enjoy a novella after work.

Makes sense to me. I love short fiction. For instance, it’s a mystery to me why people say they love Ernest Hemingway‘s books, but I do like some of his short stories very much.

Short stories have been relegated to the back of the bus (read: unread literary journals.)

Until recently people have been buying books by weight, so publishers laughed at their puniness and demanded big doorstops they could sell. Length is an issue with paper, constrained as it is by the strictures of the printing press and bookstore manager’s expectations.

Novellas are ignored by many professional critics who often don’t take it seriously because they think the short punch packs less heft behind it. As if we all feel that way all the time.

A good short story takes talent to write and in some ways is a different skill set from the novel. (These critics must be those same twits who scoff at Twitter just because they can’t put together one clever coherent thought in less than 140 characters.)

Now with e-books, the answers to those objections are: Who needs publishers for that? What’s a professional critic and what is this “newspaper” thing you’re babbling about? And lit journals? What’s that? Is all this stuff available online?

Click this link to see  Rebecca Senese’s short fiction.

Please do take a look.

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Filed under: authors, blogs & blogging, Books, ebooks, self-publishing, short stories, Twitter, Writers, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Responses

  1. Rebecca says:

    Thanks for the shoutout, Robert! I’m totally getting a button made up with The Fab Rebecca Senese on it!

    I really believe ebooks will bring back the opportunity to tell stories in different lengths, short stories, novellas and novels. No more having to pad with filler! Novellas, ranging from 15,000 to 40,000 words, practically disappeared and will now gain new life. I believe few novels truly justify 600 pages, never mind 800 or more. I think we’re going to see a renaissance of the 250 page novel as well. Stories can now be the length they were meant to be, no more and no less. What a bonnaza for readers! I know I’m loving all the possibilities!

  2. Rebecca says:

    BTW, you need a new photo with that awesome fedora, dude. Seriously, it is class all the way.

  3. […] Writers: The short form is roaring back (chazzwrites.wordpress.com) […]

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