DAY 1 - October 23, 2011
Starting today until October 29, 2011, we will post a lot of interviews with interesting folks (from writers to publishers) and many insightful reading tips.
The Short Fiction and the Subway Theory of Reading
People like to have stories they can easily consume during their commute. This also applies to lunch hours. Or breaks. There is a love of a complete reading experience within a limited frame.
DAY 2 - October 24, 2011
The Superb Novella: Concise, Rich, Overwhelming
Unique concepts, cleverly engineered plots, enthralling language. A novella is an opportunity for an author to prove how sharp and careful they can be.
Indie Authors Are Leading the Way of Short Fiction
Story is the foundation of human experience. But some stories are long by their nature, others can be told in a moment. The more you have in common with your reader, the more of your story can be told by implication, and the shorter it might be.
DAY 3 - October 25, 2011
Seven short fiction recommendations spanning seven decades
Jamie Todd Rubin: "I have written that science fiction is a cumulative literature. So in thinking about some novelettes and novellas to recommend for Short Fiction Week, I decided to choose one from each of the last seven decades of the genre."
The e-book is the latest and best hope for the commercial viability of short fiction
It's too bad that market conditions discourage the production of novellas, but I hope that the rising popularity of e-books will create a greater opportunity for their publication.
DAY 4 - October 26, 2011
Writers are returning to experimenting with shorter pieces
With digital publishing, the obstacles shorter work faced with regard to the economics of printing don’t exist and writers are returning to experimenting with shorter pieces for promotional purposes and pure love of the form.
The short fiction is not a second thought, but a bold statement
"Some critics still persist in the prejudice that a short story is an incomplete novel or at least a plot that the writer didn't deem worth developing further. How wrong! The short story/novelette is not a second thought, but a bold statement, even an act of courage".
DAY 5 - October 27, 2011
A novel can withstand an array of flaws. A novella can likely only handle one.
"A novel can withstand an array of flaws, in fact, it may even need them. A novella can likely only handle one. A single deep flaw, a dark fold, a cyst."
Many readers think that short fiction is not a serious reading
"One good short story is better than one bad novel. It’s pretty obvious and anyone can agree with that. The challenge is to promote to readers good quality short fiction, and keep repeating it’s fully worth time and money - especially that it’s not a lot of time and money."
DAY 6 - October 28, 2011
Four must read novellas
"Running the website Read in a Single Sitting means that plenty of short reads come my way, but surprisingly very few of them novellas or novelettes. That said, I've read (or listened to) several this year that have stood out in my mind."
Writing short fiction is like entering a sprint race
Writing short fiction is like entering a sprint race. Novels require you to run a marathon. Whichever you write, getting to the finish tape still takes a hell of a lot of sweat.
Short fiction can be a perfect showcase for brilliant literary talent
If a short story is not well constructed and tightly written though, it can be much less satisfying that a novel. Also, people do look for value for money in reading, and short fiction can sometimes be viewed as merely an entrée.
Four things between a short story and a novel
A short story generally focuses on one transformative event in the life of one character, while a novel describes a series of transformative events of several characters set in the larger context of a society and a world. Novelettes and novellas play with the permutations in between; the best of them play with these permutations in unexpected ways.
DAY 7 - October 29, 2011
When you have so little space, you don't have time to rack up points
If anything, I would say there's a commercial bias against short fiction because of practical restrictions with the paper format. But hopefully that is changing as e-books become more popular.
The market for short fiction is enormous
If properly cultivated, the market for short fiction is enormous; unfortunately, many of the "wise men and women" at the large agencies and publishing houses view the short story as a training ground for future novelists rather than as a distinct art form of its own.
BONUS DAY - October 30, 2011
The novelette is the natural length for prose fiction
The greatest short stories impact on our psyche in much the same way as the major events of our life. They tell us something about ourselves that we would never otherwise know. And what they tell is often not good. These stories are rare, and even the greatest writers will produce only a few through their career.
Readers are hungry for short stories
I believe, but certainly publishers don't like short stories. As I wrote in a recent column to be published in ASIMOV'S, the "Big Six" of global publishers have shamefully abandoned genre short-story collections.
The short longs of the fiction world
The short longs of the fiction world, novelettes (long stories) and novellas (short novels) are making a comeback thanks to e-reading. Short longs differ from short stories in that they have deep, twisting plots, but they aren't cluttered by subplots like their bloated older cousin, the novel.