It Was Too Short! On the Three Basic Literary Forms

It Was Too Short! On the Three Basic Literary Forms

Part One: Short Story

When I thought I was going to have to seek Traditional Publishing for my books, I was sending out short stories, in the old fashioned way, to find my audience and build a name for myself. I also had a couple of stories that were too long for these publications, but were not quite long enough to be novellas. Though I liked them a lot, I felt they would never see the light of day.

Then  friend told me about Amanda Hocking and Kindle. Not having had much interest in Kindle before,  I saw it as a way to get my too-long stories out there, and at the same time, see if Self Publishing would work for me.

It was a rocky path because I really don’t like tech. But I did like the speed and freedom of doing it myself. The novellas even got some good reviews, shocking me to death. I put some of my short stories on Kindle and Smashwords. They had all been published elsewhere so, I felt, had passed the test of quality. I also thought e-readers and short fiction were a perfect fit.

But,  I have found that some readers have a hard time with short fiction. An artist should always Keep ’em wanting more, but when readers don’t seem to understand how short fiction is different from long, door stopper fiction, not only in size, but in structure and intent, it seems they need a little education.

Pardon me….

Fictional Forms

1. Short Story

2.Novellette and Novella

3. Novel

Short Story


If you don’t like short stories, blame Edgar Allen Poe. He is credited with inventing the short story, but he got the idea from Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The defining characteristic of the short story, Poe affirmed, was its “unity of effect. The short story’s great advantage was its ideal length, which was ample enough to produce “an intense and enduring impression” but short enough to be experienced at one sitting to produce a temporary “exultation of the soul” in the reader.

The short story is in many ways closer to poetry than the novel is. For writers, the brevity of this form  supports a use of language and imagery that would be lost in the highways and byways of more involved story telling. The novel  demands more utilitarian language to move the story along. The short story, with its single unifying effect, is more dreamlike, stimulating the reader’s own imagination, perhaps penetrating more deeply the psyche.

Some of the greatest works of literature are short stories. The beauty is, they take you away—-for just a little while. Leaving space for many more stories.

  Here are a Few Short Story Goldmines you might enjoy!

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