I’ve been reading and writing novel length works lately. I belong to a few online book groups and people are always posting great reviews of this book or that. Sometimes I pick them up, sometimes I like them. It’s hard for me to find that book that hits the sweet spot – the perfect mix of good writing and a good story.
I love the exceptional use of language. That’s a talent.
In my literature and writing classes, I use Best American Short Stories. I chanced upon an old copy the other day. I read half of the first story and felt engaged, awakened!
Picking up the book of short stories immediately energized me with ideas for short fiction.
The joy of reading a short story happens because they’re tight, no nonsense needed, straight to the point, well written and excellently executed niblets of fiction.
The joy of writing a short story is the challenge. The point, the characters, the setting all expertly set up in concise wording in a small period of time. The use of language is easier to control, the beauty and rhythm easier to accomplish.
I once belonged to a short story group. It was so gratifying to read the short fiction. If you didn’t like what someone chose, you could still read the ten or twenty pages and talk about it. It’s not 300 pages of silently cursing your book group.
So… I’m going to recommend some books of short fiction. Of course, I recommend the Best American Short Story Series. Wonderful writing by newbies and scholars alike!
And mine: But also – I’m a huge fan of Jo Rousseau and Ron Terranova.
Jo Rousseau and Ron Terranova also have websites/blog. Stop by and check them out!