The Power of Short Stories

Do you remember a time when pretty much every magazine you picked up had a few short stories and often a longer tale serialised over several issues? Whilst marketplaces for short stories have changed over the years, they offer a format that fits well into modern life. Rather than committing to reading a novel, short stories can fill the gaps in our lives: a bus or train ride, a waiting room, a holiday read over a glass of wine or a quick read before you drop off to sleep, a short story slots in nicely! If you are reading a compilation, you also have the advantage of different styles from different authors.

And as writers, they are a more manageable project than scribing a book. Whilst a short story has no fixed length, they are, by definition, a reduced format. They do, however, have their own demands. You need to choose an idea that fits the intended length and you need to be concise. Your words need to achieve a lot in a relatively small space so there is no room for any flabby bits!  It’s a discipline in its own right, or should that be, write…! There are lots of competitions specifically for short stories, together with compilations both in print and online. And yes, there are a few magazines left that still accept them so it’s worth giving short story writing a go.

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