Thursday, July 08, 2004

Writing Champagne

Taken from the introduction of Daughter of Regals and Other Tales by Stephen R. Donaldson

"... in many circles the short story is regarded as a higher art form than the novel. A novel is to a short story as beer is to champagne. In a novel, the writer simply stands back and throws words at his subject until some of them stick -- an ordeal from which the subject generally emerges spattered but unbowed. But in a short story the words, being so few, must be carefully placed on the subject (in the pockets, so to speak, or perhaps behind the ears) in order to have any impact at all. Thus the short story appears to demand more of both reader and writer. The reader must become adept at perceiving the writer's meaning as it peeps past the lapels of the subject -- or the writer must become expert at tucking his intent here and there so that it still shows."


Interesting... Never thought of writing short stories in this way. Since short stories makes for easier reading I somehow thought that it would also be easier writing. Just goes to show how much I know about writing. : )


Celedor said...

Pretty sure I haven't read the aforementioned book, but I do recall reading another short story compilation that said pretty much the same thing. It was dated around 70ish-80ish.

Guess they didn't have WoT during the time. ;)

diego said...

moreover, i have read a book of short short stories which made the point that in a really really short story there is not enough time for charecterization or anything at all other than the point, thus making each word count even more so

JAm said...

i love novels. but i'm more fond of short stories.

Hannah Grace said...

Wooo Jam fonder than love! That must be strong... ; )