Old 03-13-2014, 10:42 PM   #1
Mello_SixtyNine
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Really short stories

I don't know if it's just me, but it seems like a lot of stories that have been approved lately are really short. I just read a new one today called "Teaching My Daughter". I don't think it's even a half a page long. It was barely a story.
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:44 PM   #2
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I don't know if it's just me, but it seems like a lot of stories that have been approved lately are really short. I just read a new one today called "Teaching My Daughter". I don't think it's even a half a page long. It was barely a story.
I refer to those as scenes . There's a lot of them here, many of the stroke stories are like that, there is barely a character its just "okay its in a parking lot, lets fuck"
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:20 AM   #3
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Short stories like those are Oggs favorites. He like to write 50 word short stories.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:00 AM   #4
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A super-short may be a vignette, or an anecdote, or a fragment. I once entered (and lost) a competition for ten-second films. Tell an entire story in ten seconds, yeah. The winner showed a fellow stuck in the L.A. morning commute, listening to his car radio, and realizing at the nine second mark that an airliner was about to crash into him. But I digress. My favorite (non-erotic) vignettes were Feghoots -- brief tales of the Adventures Of Ferdinand Feghoot In Time And Space, as published long ago in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. OK, so they're mostly shaggy dogs. So what? They're complete stories, and masterpieces of the short form.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:47 AM   #5
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The question is, does the story move you? I'd rather read a very short story that leaves a lasting impression than a long one that's utterly forgettable.

I don't know if the term Flash Fiction is still current, but I've got several flash fiction compilations in paperback with some very compelling writing. Making every word count can be a real challenge. When done well, it's a delight to read. It's like songwriting, where you only have three minutes to tell your story, and if you don't hook the listener during the first minute, they're gone.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:31 AM   #6
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Short stories like those are Oggs favorites. He like to write 50 word short stories.
And he's damned good at it.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mello_SixtyNine View Post
I don't know if it's just me, but it seems like a lot of stories that have been approved lately are really short. I just read a new one today called "Teaching My Daughter". I don't think it's even a half a page long. It was barely a story.
Authors at Literotica are amateurs who are often just learning the craft of writing. It is to be expected that some stories will be less well-crafted than others.

One of the ways stories are less well-crafted by beginners is that they are shorter than they should be. Another way they can be less well-crafted is by being deliberately short.

The shorter a story is, the more important each word is; choosing the right words to tell a story without leaving something out is one of the most difficult tasks in writing.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:23 AM   #8
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Authors at Literotica are amateurs who are often just learning the craft of writing. It is to be expected that some stories will be less well-crafted than others.

One of the ways stories are less well-crafted by beginners is that they are shorter than they should be. Another way they can be less well-crafted is by being deliberately short.

The shorter a story is, the more important each word is; choosing the right words to tell a story without leaving something out is one of the most difficult tasks in writing.
I invite you to read some John O'Hara, his best stories are around 1000 words.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Weird Harold View Post
Authors at Literotica are amateurs who are often just learning the craft of writing. It is to be expected that some stories will be less well-crafted than others.

One of the ways stories are less well-crafted by beginners is that they are shorter than they should be. Another way they can be less well-crafted is by being deliberately short.

The shorter a story is, the more important each word is; choosing the right words to tell a story without leaving something out is one of the most difficult tasks in writing.
Tech writers and songwriters (I'm both) value concise language. Stretching things out seems like a waste of resources. "Damn, I just wanna tell a story, why do I need to write all that boring 'atmosphere' stuff?"

But storytelling is more than mere narration, more than a listing of events and experiences. A story needs to paint mental pictures, build worlds. I can't just say that Antigua Guatemala is a charming Spanish colonial city in a small mile-high basin surrounded by volcanoes. I must describe waking every dawn to the sounds of trucks -- horns, crashing, loudspeakers -- and dogs barking, skyrockets exploding, and the smell of burning tires and incense. Horsemen clatter down the cobbled streets while strolling Mayan women hawk brilliant hand-woven fabrics. One volcano smokes and occasionally spews. The wide sidewalks line by adobe walls are crowded, as usual. You walk past the ruins of yet another earthquake-toppled church. Stuff like that.

World-building storytelling takes time. Short-short stories can't be much more than anecdotes.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:09 AM   #10
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One has to wonder how many of them are the minimalist stories from the Survival contest.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:34 AM   #11
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I invite you to read some John O'Hara, his best stories are around 1000 words.
Some people are very good at short-short fiction.

But only some.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:41 AM   #12
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Some people are very good at short-short fiction.

But only some.
It can be difficult, but if the reader thinks the story is TOO short, then the author could have failed.

I think that there is a natural length to a story when told by a particular author. The same plot written by different classic authors could vary in length from 500 words to 50,000 and all could be readable and entertaining.

Bulwer-Lytton could use more words in his first sentence than I would need for several complete 50-worders. "It was a dark and stormy night..." is only the start of that sentence.

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness. Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:28 AM   #13
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Tech writers and songwriters (I'm both) value concise language. Stretching things out seems like a waste of resources. "Damn, I just wanna tell a story, why do I need to write all that boring 'atmosphere' stuff?"

But storytelling is more than mere narration, more than a listing of events and experiences. A story needs to paint mental pictures, build worlds. I can't just say that Antigua Guatemala is a charming Spanish colonial city in a small mile-high basin surrounded by volcanoes. I must describe waking every dawn to the sounds of trucks -- horns, crashing, loudspeakers -- and dogs barking, skyrockets exploding, and the smell of burning tires and incense. Horsemen clatter down the cobbled streets while strolling Mayan women hawk brilliant hand-woven fabrics. One volcano smokes and occasionally spews. The wide sidewalks line by adobe walls are crowded, as usual. You walk past the ruins of yet another earthquake-toppled church. Stuff like that.

World-building storytelling takes time. Short-short stories can't be much more than anecdotes.
Perhaps this is a good example that could have been used in that literature thread.

Personally, I think there is a place for both quick, easy, down and dirty story telling and literature.

I read some detective type novels that fall into the latter category, and they have their place. Sometimes, just as with TV shows, that's what you want. Other times, gimme the "real" stuff.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:30 AM   #14
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Some people are very good at short-short fiction.

But only some.
Your canon applies to every category.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:31 AM   #15
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There are some old Ah challenge/contest threads on 100 word stories and other short formats.
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:56 AM   #16
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Often one-punch stories are ruined by padding them out. And if you see shorter stories being posted now it isn't a function of them being approved; it's a function of them being written and submitted. Laurel has to deal with what shows up.
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:02 PM   #17
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Your canon applies to every category.
Not really. Authors who are very good at short fiction are rare -- rarer than authors who can tell a good story better when not limited by a word count. It is possible to write well -- or badly -- in any category, but the more each word counts (even just as a percentage of total words) the more difficult it is to choose the "right" word.
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:00 PM   #18
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I refer to those as scenes . There's a lot of them here, many of the stroke stories are like that, there is barely a character its just "okay its in a parking lot, lets fuck"
I like to use the word scene, too. I don't like to call something a story if it has no conflict and resolution. Even so, a short piece can tell a story. And a long one can blather on without including even a whiff of plot.

At least the short scene has an excuse for leaving out the plot.
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Old 03-14-2014, 03:26 PM   #19
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If it has the elements of a story and it tells the whole story, it's a story.
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