Writing Short Stories
Are you able to name an author of short stories? There are a few well-known authors: Robert Olen Butler, Lorrie Moore, Robert Drewe, Junot Diaz, Jhumpa Lahiri - to name a few, but even with these great storytellers, short stories are still seen as the poor cousin to full-length novels. I write short stories as well as novels and I see both as worthwhile with short stories being as valid as novels. Short stories have a place in the literary world and for an author, the ultimate can be publishing a short story anthology.
This is my latest short story - The Shop on the Princes Highway. It is based on true facts (fictionalised) from my childhood of growing up as a migrant kid. My parents owned a shop on the Princes Highway, Unanderra, a suburb of Wollongong. Read how Gina and Albert want to fit into the Australian lifestyle.
I have two other short stories. My first published short story is a crime story about Raymond, a shy, unassuming man with social phobia. This makes him quirky, a tad boring and not everyone's idea of a friend. His radar for making friends is always a bit off as well. As I was writing the story, I didn't know it was going to be a short story, but it ended where it needed to end. When I begin a story I have no idea how long it will be, and I don't force it either because this is when a story can become staid or be lost in a plot hole.
Short stories published on their own may not sell as well as novels, but many authors like to produce anthologies, a publication of several short stories either by themselves or with other authors contributing. An anthology can be a series of poems, short stories or short novels. Being part of an anthology that is in collaboration with other authors is the ultimate goal for some short story authors. One day I hope to produce an anthology of my short stories, but right now I don't have enough of them published.
My sci-fi short story is being written into a trilogy, with the second instalment, Xenure Station: The Revenge being published at the end of this year. This is another way to combine a short story with a novel. Book One and Book Two will be published in one edition. The final book of the trilogy, Xenure Station: The Return, will be published next year.
I have heard some authors say that writing a short story is more difficult than a novel and I'm not sure I agree with this. They say that compressing a story into the short format can be hard. This is not something that bothers me, I write and let the story be whatever it needs to be. Whatever creative expression your story ends up being; a story of suburban malaise as in Robert Drewe's The Bodysurfers; or part of an anthology, or a stand-alone short story, don't push it to be anything else. Writing short stories is as creative a pursuit as with any other writing endeavours.