I’m currently reading a batch of short stories.
I shake my head in bamboozled admiration. I am in awe of the ability to create such vignettes. You see, my short stories leave a lot to be desired. At least I think they do. It’s not that I am entirely dissatisfied with my pieces, but I feel they are noticeably lacking aspects I observe in others’ pieces.
I believe I am most intrigued by the ability to tightly cram a world into a handful of pages. Since I am prone to novels, it amazes me that a story environment can be paradoxically discarded and brought to life in quips. Of course, the descriptions will vary from story to story and author to author, but nevertheless, the knack to compactly include setting is most impressive.
Next is the poignancy which can be instilled in such a short amount of space. The “punch” of a short story, whether it be vague understanding leading to great pontification or sharp recognition of a common condition eloquently stated is also a notable achievement.
I suppose it’s not surprising that my writing efforts wind up on the longer side. I’ve been called “Prologue Boy” by my friends. And sure, I’ve had to concoct short stories for classes, taught the basics. But wouldn’t you know that I’ve wanted to expand some of them?
So I will leave short stories to those who have the wherewithal to write them.
(And no, the picture is not what I am reading.)