Short Stories are NOT Novels!

I think one of the biggest hurdles for short story enjoyment is the expectations we have going into the reading experience.  A really good analogy would be the difference between movies and TV shows.  When you go to the movie theater or put a movie in at home you’re know you’re in it for the long-haul.  You expect a longer time commitment as well a complete beginning, middle and end.

TV shows are different.  You know going in that it’s only going to be thirty or fifty minutes long.  You expect to be a presented with a scenario that is consistent with the show’s story arc and you expect that scenario to resolve.  There may not be a solid beginning, middle and end but you do expect the scenario to feel complete.

The same goes for novels and short stories.  A novel is a longer time investment.  The story should have complete beginning, middle and end elements along with character development.  A short story is a scenario.  It doesn’t matter if you know every detail about the main character’s life; what matters is that you care about the character.

Therefore it’s important to know what type of experience you should expect before getting into a story.  Otherwise you’ll be doomed to disappointment.  It would be like watching an episode of Fraiser but expecting something like Ben-Hur.  It’s not that either are bad just different forms of entertainment.

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2 thoughts on “Short Stories are NOT Novels!

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