Recently I have made a serious attempt to improve my short story writing. To that end I know I must read as much as I can in the format I wish to write in. I have about six books of short stories I’m actively reading, both literary and genre, and I guess a third type I’ll call literary genre. I decided to keep a master list for myself of all the stories I have read, which will go back as far as I can remember. I also decided to publish a (shorter) list of stories which made an impression on me. The Story List is that diary.
Why work on short stories? There are several reasons, not least the fact that completing stories gains the writer experience faster than writing novels. But as I have grown older it has occurred to me that the short story form has values unique from longer fiction. A writer can experiment without causing a reader too much grief, and a writer can use the form in the classic three act structure similar to a novel. The short story is a flexible thing and I think, could be ready for a new prominence given the world’s ever shrinking attention span.