May is Short Story Month

by thiszine

Okay, okay, we know that May is half over and we’re a bit late to the game. That’s okay. There’s still time for some thoughts on the short story, right?

Robert Gray wrote a wonderful column about short stories and the confusion (what is a short story? how long is it, exactly?) and frequent resistance (why would I want a really good story to end after just a few pages?) that often accompanies the genre. Most interesting is the inquiry into whether, in an age of shortened attention spans, busier people, and less time to dedicated to reading, the short story is primed for a comeback, assuming that the short story was ever widely embraced and loved. The idea behind flash fiction (also known under a hundred related names: short-shorts, sudden fiction, hint fiction, minute fiction, micro fiction) is that people, with less time available to read, are looking for shorter, less complicated but strongly written pieces with an obvious point of view. (See: blogs.)

Read Gray’s column. Lydia Davis has some opinions on narrative and length in stories that she discusses in The Believer. While you’re at, we published two great pieces of flash fiction (for us, stories less than 1,000 words) in the May 2010 issue of this .

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