Elizabeth N. Love
Thanks for having me!
As I make the rounds this week, visiting an array of blogs through the support of Rave Reviews Book Club, I look forward to the comments and questions, so be sure to leave your mark! And thank RRBC and its members very much for their generous support.
Some of you may have noticed that not only do I have a full length novel available to the public (Call of the Goddess), but I’ve also published a collection of my own short stories under the title Through a Window. Within a scant 100 pages, these five short stories capture an array of intriguing situations both on and off Earth. This book includes an original illustration for each story by yours truly.
On that note, I thought I’d look at this so often ignored form of writing. We fiction authors get wrapped up in writing the next popular novel. So often, we get tied down to writing vast quantities of words, and we shout out our word count for the day as a badge of honor. “Look what I just did!” And congrats to anyone who has the opportunity and spark to grind out several thousand nouns, adjectives, and verbs in one day. I envy you.
I’m going to trim that down today.
I love to read a good short story. I always have. Short stories were how I started my writing adventure.
So what is it about short stories that some find appealing? That’s a question both for those who write them and those who read them.
For me, short stories quell a thirst for reading when I may only have a limited amount of time and still want to embrace the full breadth of the story. I want a chance to walk away from a story with a feeling of accomplishment and understanding in one sitting, instead of taking days to reach that satisfying ending.
I’ve heard some readers say that a short story won’t give them the same amount of substance as a full-length novel. They want a hearty meal for their reading pleasure, not just a snack. I have to disagree. A good short story will give me the same sense of satisfaction as any book ten times as long, and with less time invested in the main course.
In the last six months, I’ve read two excellent compilations of short stories. The first was The Power of Six by RRBC’s own Nicholas Rossis. I found each brief tale poignant and particularly telling of the human condition. I found many of them humorous as well, and I’m a fan of using science fiction to point out our human quirks. I swept through the six stories in just a couple of days worth of reading time and craved more once I finished. I noted in my review that he reminded me a great deal of Isaac Asimov, one of the most iconic science fiction writers of all time. You’re not quite sure where the story is going to take you, but you are never let down by the ending.
The second was Scouting for the Reaper by Jacob M. Appel. This collection reminded me more of authors such as John Updike in the way Appel captured current and past social sentiments by focusing on rather ordinary characters and ordinary situations. It’s the twist that highlights the emotions and the unusual choices the character makes in the end, whether for better or worse.
As for writing such brief whimsies of literary art, I enjoy the challenge of using words in their most efficient capacity. There is a carefully budgeted economy of sentiment and storytelling that must be met in 10,000 words or less. Character and world building must take place in an instant, and the story must resolve in the nick of time. As much dedication as it takes to write that novel, it takes precision and self-discipline to compose an equally substantive work in so few words.
I urge everyone to set a challenge, once a year at least, to try a hand at writing a story of 10,000 words or less. If you really want to push yourself, shoot for 1500 or less! Practice economy, expand your vocabulary. By limiting yourself, you’ll expand your creativity.
~Elizabeth N. Love
Through a Window by Elizabeth N. Love
Amazon Link: http://goo.gl/zVStWu
About the Book:
Take a journey through the window of imagination, into the possible realms of alien worlds, a kingdom that knows only light, and the annihilation of an entire species. These stories will satisfy your craving for adventure and thought-provoking fiction. The five short stories encapsulate a variety of musings from the last two decades, including alien cultures, human relationships, a world without darkness, and genocide. The collection includes pen and ink illustrations of the author’s own creation.
About the Author:
Elizabeth N. Love is a native Kansas who grew up on the prairie in rural small towns. From a very young age she enjoyed creating stories and poems and practices daily in the art of wordsmithing. She also enjoys other forms of art, such as drawing and making music. She is currently finishing Book Two in this series, as well as working on a paranormal romance, a non-fiction narrative, and a new sci-fi novel based on an alternate past. She lives near Kansas City with her family.
Connect with Elizabeth!
Amazon Author: www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-N.-Love/e/B00JRM567O