It’s weird to say but I can’t really remember just when it was that I fell in love with short stories, or what story it was that did it. For me, the beauty and the sheer art of the short story is that you must still tell a full story, even if it’s just the story of a moment, in only a matter of pages. With short fiction you don’t have the luxury of taking your time to build the layers of the tale, you have to measure every word carefully to make sure that it gets right to the heart of what you’re trying to say and what it is you are trying to convey.
I have always had a deep respect for novels, and always will. Hell, the one I have written was done so by accident alone and nothing more. I hadn’t intended to write a novel but found that what I wanted to say was longer than I expected. Despite having written A Shadow Over Ever (Which will hopefully see publication some day), I don’t really feel a deep need to write another novel. See, I love short stories, and it’s what I am most drawn to. As long as I have been writing (Which I can honestly say I have been doing seriously since I was about fourteen) I have loved writing short fiction. I love the immediacy of short stories and that you can do many of the same things, and create the same feelings, but in fewer words.
It’s a shame that short stories are becoming so scarce these days, the market seeming to have all but dried up over the years. The crazy thing about short stories and story collections being so rare is that, in a world where we’re all so much busier, and have so much more to occupy us, you would think that we’d want to read shorter fiction. I would think that the draw of stories that can be read in one sitting would be a draw for people, especially vacationers. It’s strange. I tend to wonder if it’s the quality of stories out there, or if it’s the selection on the shelves. Unfortunately, there just isn’t a lot of space on bookstore shelves for new or lower profile fiction so a lot of work goes unseen. Moreso even than music, indie books and writing is a pretty rare and under-appreciated animal. With music you can at least sample the stuff in some way but with fiction, you have to take a chance or happen on a friend or reviewer that draws you in. What a shame.
As much as I hope for a resurgence of short fiction, I have to admit that that’s probably not going to happen. What might happen however is that the bigger names in fiction will embrace shorter fiction and will help get people interested in it again by writing some themselves.
Time will tell, naturally but me, I’ll keep telling my tales because that’s what I love to do. It’s as simple as that.