The pleasure of short stories

Lately I’ve been on a short story writing binge. Partly that’s because I have a novel on submission, and I can spend my excess energy drinking or writing short stories and it seems more healthy to write. (I am working on a new novel as well, but I have a lot of excess energy.) But I have also come to realize how much I enjoy reading short stories. (I keep a copy of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine in my pocketbook for emergency situations.)  One of the things I like about stories is that you can write them and finish them in a confined period of time. Generally it takes me about three months to write one, and then about six months to sell one, which, in the publishing business, is about as close to immediate gratification as you’re going to get.  I also like the way you can be experimental with a short story.  For example, I am intrigued by families of serial killers. This is probably because I grew up down the road from Joel Rifkin (Long Island’s worst serial killer) and one of the things I found fascinating about that whole thing was that after he was convicted, his mother continued to live in the house in which the murders took place. Which was a rather mundane looking split level house. What is it like to live in such proximity to evil? What do you know or make sure you don’t know? What choices do you make? I considered writing a novel with the protagonist the daughter of a serial killer. But I was concerned that it would be hard to get the readers to commit to such a character. Would it all be too creepy for a commercial novel? But with a short story, I have no such concerns. So the woman I sent off to Tahiti (in the story I mentioned yesterday) is grappling with the fact that she is leaving behind a father who is being sentenced to prison for murder.  Do you like short stories? Which are some of your favorites? 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts

Silver Linings
  • June 15, 2021
Happy Solstice!
  • June 14, 2021
Brothers and Sisters
  • June 11, 2021
Where’s the dog?
  • June 10, 2021
The Art of Betrayal
  • June 8, 2021
Time To Dream
  • June 4, 2021

Search By Tags