I’ve been interested in reading and writing since I was a little kid, and my go to type of book to read was a nice long chapter book. The thicker the better.
My philosophy was, the thicker it was, the more time and effort were put into it, therefore the book must be good right?
Well that’s not completely wrong, but it does have its faults. Just because a book is long, doesn’t mean it is good, but I would say a majority of them are.
What I didn’t realize until the last few years, is that short stories and anthology series really good. I read them in high-school and university, but they’re usually pretty bland and full of symbolism, plus schools rarely ever pick good reading material.
I didn’t mind short stories usually, but they weren’t my favorite thing, until recently. I’ve read a handful of short stories over the past few years, and I’ve really enjoyed them.
Usually a book with a more fleshed out story is better, because they have answers to all the questions and all of the story lines typically end some how.
What’s to complain about in that case? I’m getting the complete story, I should be happy about it.
That’s true, at least in my opinion, but there is another truth that goes along with it. Just because you don’t get the full story, doesn’t mean the story isn’t good.
There is some sort of magic that comes with creating your own story, or finishing a puzzle, and I think that’s something that short stories inspire in people.
They let people fill in the remaining pieces of the puzzle they started, and give people a chance to finish the story how they want it.
If a short story is done well, it tells just enough of a story to satisfy your needs, but not a complete enough story that it gives you all the answers.
It finds the fine line between mystery and answer. Giving you the steak, and you bring the potatoes.
It’s a near magical thing, creating a short story that makes the reader want more. I put the success of short stories up to a test. If a short story is done well, I imagine at least a half dozen different things that could happen in that story.
If a short story is done well, I go looking for more content from that world, author, or anything, just to help me finish it.
If a short story isn’t done well, that’s all there is to it. The story ends at the last word. There’s no wondering what happened next, there’s no finishing the puzzle. The story lives and dies in its own pages.
You might be thinking that you haven’t read a short story that was good, or maybe you haven’t read one that was bad. Either way, everyone has their opinions.
I’ve read a few short stories that fall into both categories, but its the ones that I crave more of that made me fall in love with short stories.