DEFINITIONS OF BUG USED IN THIS BLOG -
1. Slang verb or noun: concern or annoy (most common use of the word in this blog),
2. Proper noun: best dog I know,
3. Proper noun: name of dog in COMING FLU and MURDER: A NEW WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT,
4. Noun: computer error or flaw, and
5. Noun: an insect
Sunday, September 18, 2016
WHAT IS A SHORT STORY?
Do you realize many famous movies are based on short stories?
The list is long. I’ll only mention four.
"The Sentinel” by Arthur C. Clarke became 2001: A Space Odyssey. “The
Birds”by Daphne du Maurier. “Breakfast
at Tiffany’s” by Truman Capote. “The Body
Snatcher” by Robert Louis Stevenson. Some experts hypothesize that short stories are good bases
for movies because they both tell stories by implications and quick shots
without the superfluous explanation of novels.
How long is a short story?
Debatable. Every publisher and contest uses a
different definition—no longer than 20,000 words, between 1,000 and 6,000
words, or less than 4,000 words are frequent limits. Stories shorter than 1,000
words are often called flash fiction.
However, two famous writers gave the best definitions of
short stories. In 1846, Poe defined a
short story as prose fiction that could be read in “one sitting.” The
problem is “one sitting” is probably shorter now than then. H.G. Wells defined
it as a “half-hour read.”
Short stories versus novels?
In theory, short stories contain the traditional elements of
dramatic structure, but in a condensed form. However, the exposition (the introduction of
setting, situation and main characters) is often deleted and the story begins
in the middle of the action. In many, the resolution is abrupt and/or open to
interpretation. Often short stories focus on a single plot in a single setting.
What’s the history of short stories?
Short stories, as examples of story telling, could be
considered descendents of the Roman and Greek fables and early Christian
parables. Fairy tales are also classic examples of short stories.
In the 1800s magazines created a high demand for
short stories. Hence, many American and English authors (Nathaniel Hawthorne,
Thomas, Hardy, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain) wrote short stories in the
1800s. Probably the most famous author of short stories from that period is
Edgar Allan Poe ("The Tell-Tale
Heart,” “The Pit and
the Pendulum," and "The Murders
in the Rue Morgue").
During the twentieth century, most major authors
wrote short stories at least occasionally. Despite their publication in high
profile magazines, many readers considered short stories to be a lesser form of
literature than novels. However, short stories gained more respect when the
2013 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Alice Munro, the “master of the
contemporary short story.”
Why did I write this blog?
My first collection of short stories—The Good Old Days?—will
be published later this month.
Blurb: Did you ever wonder whether many nostalgic
narratives of the good old days are cases of selective forgetfulness? All the
short stories in The Good Old Days? are loosely based on recollections of
childhoods in the 1940s, 1950, and 1960s. The combination of mirth, fear,
anger, and finally wisdom displayed by the narrators of these tales may make
you reassess your memories of childhood.