I never realised, until I started publishing short stories, how much some people dislike the form. I mean normal, reader-type people, who read novels, but won't sully their minds with anything with a word count under 20k. Where do these people come from? How are they created (for surely they're not natural)?
In all seriousness, I know short stories don't sell as well as novels. And I don't care. They are an art-form in themselves, with their own rules, their own highs and lows. They are not truncated novels, or promotional material for novels.
Hence the idea of 'In Defence of Short Stories' - a series of semi-regular guest blogs by short story authors. And I can't think of a better person to start with than Alain Gomez. No matter how much you think you like short stories, Alain likes them more. See the excellent blog Book Brouhaha for evidence. Or make any kind of disparaging comment about short stories on Kindleboards, and see how long it is before Alain arrives to argue you into submission... In short, Alain's someone who fights the good fight.
Take it away, Alain....
Short Stories are a Complete Waste of Money. Here are 7 better uses for your $1.
Thanks to the floodgate ebooks have opened up, we are now bombarded with new book length possibilities. The genre that seems to rub the most salt in the wound is the short story. Authors are attempting to get us to pay as much as $0.99 for a story that could be as short as 1,000 words.
This is just about as rock bottom as spending can get. Imagine spending an entire dollar on a story one author spent time putting together. In case you may be tempted to try one of these things, I have compiled a list of much more mainstream (not to mention, socially acceptable) uses for your dollar.
1. N’Sync’s “That’s When I’ll Stop Loving You” on iTunes. Their dulcet tones will go down in music history. I would recommend getting the much more famous “Bye Bye Bye,” but it sells at $1.29 which is slightly out of our budget.
2. A Taco Bell bean burrito. With all the nutritional value of wallpaper and created from just-add-water beans, this is a life investment you should not pass up. Extremely satisfying to eat at 2am.
3. Betty Crocker scented candle in a glass case. These beauties can be found at your local 99 cent store. Set the mood by lighting one and making your home smell like cheap fruit.
4. A small coffee at McDonald’s. Smells alarmingly like melted tires.
5. Two bags of Top Ramen. A college student’s gourmet cuisine. One serving will fulfill your salt allotment for the month. Slightly less nutritional value than a Taco Bell burrito.
6. A tip for a bartender so they don’t poison your drink next time you frequent their establishment. If you fold the bill just right it can look like a lot more
7. Angry Birds on your iPhone. This game is mind improving, right? It teaches us about angles and, you know, stuff.