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How I got into short stories

A few times I've seen book lover Facebook groups do an informal survey, asking their members if they prefer novels or short story collections. Novels win by a significant margin. Many of the comments from people will suggest that readers like to get engrossed in a longer story. Others said that short collections will have a few great stories, but the rest of the stories either feel repetitive or they fail to keep the reader's attention. I have to agree with this last criticism. I have been turned off by short story collections because I generally only like two or three of the stories. Usually, I know pretty quickly if a novel is going to keep my attention for the entire book.

I never intended to be a short story writer. I kind of just fell into it because I had all of these ideas that just weren't suited for a novel. As an artist, you learn about respecting the nature of the project. For example, my mother is an author and playwright. She's written plays, novels, and musicals. She taught me early on that some ideas are better suited for one format over another. Right now, the story ideas that I have are better suited for shorter formats. Maybe I could turn a couple of the stories in a novel, but for the most part these ideas can be developed in a few thousand words.

Someday I would like to complete a novel, but, since I have so many short story ideas in the works, I figure that I'll just trust the flow and wait until I'm ready.

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