Short Stories Popular? You bet they are. They are loved by both veracious and non readers and allow the writer to hone his/her craft. Out attention is small – short stories fill the need.
There was a time when good writers could make an extraordinary income from short stories, and often even full-length novels were published piece-by-piece in major publications.
Times have changed, but are short stories popular still? This type of writing has had a slight lapse in popularity, but with today’s modern lifestyle short stories are becoming more important than ever.
Short Story Authors
While great novelists can write short stories and vice versa, confining a story to a limited number of words (normally under 7,500) and keeping the writing compelling takes a very special set of skills.
As a direct result of the limited word count, authors must make every sentence count. That makes for a more defined purpose for the story, and therefore a more precise delivery.
They must be attention-grabbing and have a satisfying conclusion, while still drawing readers to come back for more.
For the author with many ideas, it’s a great opportunity to turn out a number of stories and to see which ones perform well.
Writing many stories at a time is fantastic practice, and it hones important skills like developing characters and improving dialogue.
Short stories might bring in less money per piece, but the author is able to finish them much more quickly.
Many of the most famous authors started out writing short stories, or began writing after their major novels took off – George R.R. Martin, Annie Proulx, Stephen King, Roald Dahl and Jane Austen are just a very few names from an extremely long list.
Many writing courses also prefer writers to create short stories instead of excerpts from longer works.
Why Short Stories?
Short stories are a quick window into a world, and readers generally come in cold with little understanding of what to expect.
The author has a very short window in which to grab their attention, introduce them to the world, create a storyline, and finish in a way that leaves readers keen for the next story from that author.
Because of the format, authors can jump into wildly different worlds, without the concentrated effort of creating context and world-building that usually applies.
The same goes for characters – readers are devoid of expectations, allowing authors to create quirky, memorable characters with pared down dialogue that advances the story.
Short stories allow authors to push boundaries, and to trial ideas that would be difficult in a novel. Cliff-hangers are common, and the reader understands that they are just peering through a window to see a quick flash of a story, with the implied understanding of a whole other world to explore and consider long after the story is finished.
Practically, short stories are a quick escape, easy to finish in comparison to a full-length novel. Short stories are not only popular, they are ideally suited to modern readers.
Why Do Modern Readers Choose Short Stories?
Of course, full-length novels are a “safer” option. There isn’t as much pressure to perform as well in such a short space of time, and readers feel like they are getting their money’s worth.
Printed publications are declining, some of which were traditionally a source of short stories. However, short stories are still popular, and with modern times come modern reasons for readers to choose a shorter option. Here are some reasons why short stories are popular.
American fiction (and short story) writer Lorrie Moore says, “A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage.
A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.” There will always be beauty in all forms of writing, but is it true that modern times can continue to keep short stories popular? In this fast-paced age, it could be that this type of storytelling is more adapted to society than ever before.
Are short stories popular? You bet – YES!
Can short reads or short stories compete in this social media driven world where interrupting somebody’s day has become the latest catch cry. I think so and here’s why.
In January 2016 Amazon reported 1,064,000 eBook sales a DAY. While most of the sales are for novels, books on average 300 pages plus, shorter books are growing in popularity. Writers like C T Mitchell, James Patterson and Lee Child are trying to stem the tide of readers lost to television, video games and social media and bring them back to reading.
Short reads are attractive to those lost on Facebook and Twitter because they grab a readers attentions quickly. Visually they are smaller, lighter to hold and for a non-reader hold the promise that they will actually finish the book. Most short stories are under 5000 words, but short reads tend to be 5000 – 20,000 words. They can be devoured in a single sitting and that’s satisfying for those taking the usual numbing subway ride to work each day.
Short books are usually fast paced. They must grab the readers attention quickly. The books are generally plot driven supported by good characters. You’ll get a taste of a character but don’t expect to find out every single aspect of their lives. There’s simply not enough time.
James Patterson recently added Book Shots to his burgeoning book empire. With already some 326 books read, Mr Patterson is hoping to expand his book reach with these smaller novels. Short reads usually sell for 99 cents to $2.99 on Amazon with their paperback version going for around $4-$5.
Because of their size their is also an opportunity for short stories to be marketed in non traditional areas away from online book stores or traditional book stores. Sitting alongside magazines in service stations, airport shops or food outlets including supermarket checkouts could be where you’ll see short reads in the future.
But most importantly getting people back to reading or boosting somebody’s day with great entertainment is what short reads can offer. Go grab a free book today!Share