*A guest post by Anne Martin
Alpha Omega Publications LAN 1008 The Short Story
The toughest form of creative writing is writing
a short story. You need to tell a tale in a minimal manner without taking too long to get to the point. Writing a short story is akin to creating your own world.
You get to put what you want into this special world. It can have people, place
and anything else you like. At the same time you have to ensure that the story
unfolds well and you do not get sidelined with some rambling. Of course there
is no prescribed word limit for a short story and it could be anything in
length from a couple of pages to a short novella.
In a full-length novel you have the opportunity
to explore and develop the characters that you will populate the book with, you
do not have the luxury of so many words in a short story. It takes skill to
hold the reader’s attention in a short story and some masters like HH Munroe also known as Saki
can switch the tale in the very last paragraph to head in a totally
different direction from where the reader assumed it was headed. There are
different genres that you can write a story in and here we discuss six of the
most commonly used genre categories.
In the fantasy genre a whole new world is
created and populated by the author. The best example these days would be the Harry Potter series created by J. K.
Rowling. The author made up a whole
new parallel world for the witch community living side by side with “us
muggles.” To capture the imagination of readers worldwide the way she did is
truly the best gift an author can ask for.
In this genre it is the imagination of the
author that lets us travel several years into the future. One of the masters of
the short story in the science fiction genre would be Issac Asimov. This genius made a whole new future world come alive
with his Foundation series. It
follows the human race as it begins to populate the entire galaxy and beyond.
Very intriguing and well written to the extent that you can almost believe it
Laughter is the best medicine is a popular
quote. A number of short stories take you into absurd and weird situations with
their characters. They cannot but help make you laugh. These stories have no
specific time frame or fantasy world. Most of them are based on real life
situations that you are likely to face personally making it that much more
identifiable for the reader. Personally I find PG Wodehouse the master of the satirical short story. His humor in
the Jeeves series is subtle and you
need to pay attention to get it.
The butler did it! A good murder mystery is
difficult to come by in a short story, because it takes time for the crime
scene to be built up, the various characters to be introduced and eventually
the investigation leads to the killer in the climax. Here very often the author
will throw up a surprise shifting the suspicion off the main suspect onto a
sidelined character in the story. Agatha Christie was indeed the murder
mystery queen with her Hercule Poirot
series and Miss Maple series.
Agatha Christie journal (Google Affiliate Ad)
There are some strange breeds of people who
actually find being shaken to shivers a form of entertainment. While I do not
think being chilled to the bone is in any way enjoyable, Stephen King fans may disagree. The man has made an art form out of
scaring reader with totally believable day-to-day scenarios turning into your
This would be the most popular type of short
story being churned out these days, as it is the most subscribed to. Most
common plot would be girl meets boy, they have problems that lead to separation
and then after a few years they meet again leading to full-fledged romance with
happy ending. There are too many authors in this genre for me to narrow it down
to one particular master; however I do enjoy the work of Nora Roberts.