122 Rules by Deek Rhew

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Short Stories Are Not My Friend

Let me start by saying: It's not you, it's me. Really.

As a reader, I've always had trouble with short stories. Most people I know can happily read several shorts in a sitting and come away happy. Like they've eaten a large buffet and are completely satiated. I've tried and tried, from a huge variety of authors, and it always feels like I've had Chinese food for dinner. It was good, and I know I ate, but I am still hungry.

For me it seems like just when I'm getting into a story it's suddenly, prematurely, over. I flip the page thinking there must be more and disappointed, cheated even, when there isn't.

Personally, I love to getting happily lost in a story. I want to get invested in the characters and learn more about them. Exploring their world is a way to escape my own, not that my life is bad--actually I love my life--but who doesn't want new experiences that are massively different from their own?
But a shorty only gives me a little glimpse while I want to gaze in all the windows and wander its city streets.

I've thought it over and the only thing I can think of is that maybe it's because I read slowly. Others  seem to be able to polish off a 400 page novel as quickly as a bottle of Evian, but it takes me the a week or longer to drink that same bottle of water. It's the only reason I can come up with.

It's frustrating, because there are a ton of incredibly well-written shorties out there. Novellas are a hit/miss too. Sometimes the longer ones, The Green Mile comes to mind, are very satisfying and I come away with a new set of friends from a world not my own. But other times...

Am I unique in this regard? Anyone else have this problem? What is it? Shortabookaphobia? Suggestions are welcome.

Carry on.

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  1. I'm not much of a short story person either! I like long books like The Book Thief - my favourite at the moment. Good luck with your novels.

    (ps I love the photo - it looks very Australian!)

    1. So glad I'm not alone! Saying I look Australian is a HUGE compliment. Thank you much!

  2. Hello!(Thanks for the follow over at twitter). I must say I can fall into this, not just as a reader yet as a writer as well. I find myself not only turning the page or desperately seeking the next page button on the web, I almost feel compelled to write, so I can finish it in my own head. Good? Bad? Not quite sure.

    1. Thank you Jod{i}! My ereader has this worn spot on the screen where I've pressed next over and over trying to get to the next page. At least if it inspires your imagination to complete the story, then it's not a waste!