Tag: short stories

Exploring Length in Fiction

As I learn more about fiction, I’ve found the different types of fiction very interesting. Normally, the “types” of fiction refers to genres: whether a piece is literary fiction as opposed to romantic or sci-fi. However, I’m talking more about length in fiction. There are about four general lengths in fiction: flash fiction, short stories, novellas, and novels.

 

 

Flash Fiction

Flash fiction refers to short works that are, usually, under 1,000 words. This includes Dribbles, Drabbles, and six-word stories. Flash fiction is like a burst of juice on your tongue; something short and sweet. These short, short stories truly pack a punch, somewhere between a sour candy and an actual hit, when it comes to their emotional toll. Stories like The Visitor and A Story of Stolen Salamis, by Lydia Davis are steeped in memory and care. They make you smile in a wistful way as you think of your grandpa or something you hold dear. Jamaica Kincaid also packs a heavy hit with Girl, the story of a young Caribbean girl and the lessons her mother gives her. You think of social expectations, whether you’re on the good side or the bad side of what your mother wanted.

 

Image via Genius

Short Stories

Short stories are, almost always, significantly longer than Flash Fiction, spanning from 1,500 to 10,000 words. These stories are like short films in their ability to tell a full, detailed story in a short amount of time. There fun to read on the go; great for snacking. Bullet in the Brain by Tobias Wolff is just that. This compact little story, gives context to the death of a book editor and does a great job of giving you just enough. There’s just enough detail, just enough dialog, just enough of insight on the main character’s life. It’s a little bag of perfect.

 

 

Image via Goodreads

Novellas

Novellas are usually around 15,000 to 60,000, even though the word count is not set in stone. Think of them as a dinner plate; it’s enough to fill you up without making you full. Novellas are satisfying in that way. They’re full of detail, all without dedicated pages to setting or description. John Steinbeck seems to be a good chef when it comes to novellas. He wrote Of Mice and Men, The Red Pony, The Pearl, and Lifeboat, with the first being his most famous Novella. Of Mice and Men is the perfect example of what a novella could be. It presents a full, satisfying story that is, like a short story, easy to read wherever you are.

Image via Amazon

Novels

Novels are the most common form of fiction around, the full course meal of fiction. These stories can stretch from around 50/60,000 words onward, even though readers usually prefer novels that don’t pass 250,000 words. Everyone has their own favorite novel, but every good novel has one thing in common: it’s extremely engaging. Because a novel has to keep a reader’s attention over a longer coarse of time, it’s more important they are engaging from the beginning. Another thing about novels is that they give you the room to build an entire world. It is perfectly acceptable to spend a significant time on setting and world-building. Take the Harry Potter series for example; those books are long and spend a lot of time setting up the scenery. That works in a novel because it gives depth to the world and keeps the story interesting.

 

 

Now that you’ve gotten to see the full spread of what fiction has to offer, go out and read. Have a novella on the train; read a short story with breakfast; enjoy the variety of fiction because it is truly endless.

 

Feature Image via HGTV.

 


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Pedro Almodovar Adapts Lucia Berlin Short Story

Pedro Almodovar, the Spanish filmmaker who directed Pain and Glory, is now working on a short film adapted from Lucia Berlin’s “A Manual for Cleaning Women.”  Almodovar had previously spoken about Berlin’s work to Vulture and how much he admires the author for it.

image via amazon

Lucia Berlin tells 43 short stories of situations that occur in everyday life. The collection of her stories involves laundromats, halfway houses of the American Southwest, houses in the Bay Area of the upper class, as well as struggling mothers, hitchhikers, bad Christians and more.

image via trendsmap

Almodovar will only be adapting five out of the 43 stories in Berlin’s novel. These five stories will take place in Texas, Oakland, and Mexico. There will also be a mixture of English and Spanish as well.

There does not seem to be a set date for the film to be released as of now, or when production will start. In the meantime, you can enjoy all 43 of Lucia Berlin’s short stories in A Manual for Cleaning Women.

 

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Featured image via Time

Edwidge Danticat and Caribbean Relatability

Late last year, I had the unbelievable pleasure of meeting Haitian-American author, Edwidge Danticat. I had read her first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, over the summer and she quickly became one of my favorite storytellers.

 

image via ny times

 

If I’m being quite honest, I fell in love with Danticat’s work, especially the relatability I feel in reading it. As a Caribbean-American woman, it’s rare that I find novels and stories that reflect things that I’m familiar with. Danticat must have heard me complaining because I can relate to a lot of her stories and their nuanced portrayals of island/immigrant life.

 

 

While I love all of Danticat’s work, I’m especially a sucker for New York Day Women, a short story from Danticat’s Krik?Krak! collection. The story follows Suzette, the adult daughter of Haitian immigrants, as she spies on and follows her mother around New York City. At one point in the story, Suzette’s mother mentions that clothes should not be given to Goodwill when they can be saved and shipped home. “We save our clothes for the relatives in Haiti,” she says. The line makes me instantly think of my own mother, who packs up old clothes to ship to Jamaica every so often.

 

image via edwidge dandicat

 

Can we just say that I love Edwidge Danticat? She gave me a place to see myself and my family in fiction. She has inspired me to write stories like my own without fear of not being accepted.

featured image via ebay


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Guillermo del Toro is Writing a Spooky Book of Short Stories

Guillermo del Toro, the esteemed filmmaker behind both Pan’s Labyrinth and Shape of Water, is now working on a collection of short stories for Amazon Original Stories.

 

Guillermo del Toro Image via The Talk

 

While most of del Toro’s work is made to be viewed, though this isn’t his first publishing credit. Del Toro co-wrote The Strain novels with Chuck Hogan, a fiction series about the clashes between the vampire and human worlds.

 

The StrainImage via Amazon

 

Most of del Toro’s work deals heavily with the supernatural, and this upcoming work will be no exception. The publisher has stated that the collection “will introduce a world of strange happenings, otherworldly horror, and dark fantasy.”

 

 

While working on this project del Toro is also making a stop-motion adaptation of Pinnocchio for Netflix, and a live-action adaptation of William Lindsay Gresham’s novel Nightmare Alley, so it’s likely that his novel won’t be hitting shelves until 2021.

Right now the work is still untitled, though we look forward to future updates!

 

 

 

Featured Image via Rolling Stone

7 Of The Most Terrifying Two Sentence Horror Stories

In the modern age, creatives have been using more and more outlets to tell horror stories than ever before. With viral Twitter horror threads such as “Dear David’ and “Teletubbie Facts,” social media horror stories have become more commonplace. New apps generate text conversations that tell horrifying stories. Other creators have produced their own horror through YouTube, Snapchat and now even TikTok. Two sentence horror stories belong in this wave of innovative ways to tell a terrifying tale. You may be wondering how just two sentences can be enough to make you unable to sleep at night, but as soon as you read the first one, you’ll understand.

 

 

1. I begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, “Daddy check for monsters under my bed.” I look underneath for his amusement and see him, another him, under the bed, staring back at me quivering and whispering, “Daddy there’s somebody on my bed.” — justAnotherMuffledVo

 

2. Don’t be scared of the monsters, just look for them. Look to your left, to your right, under your bed, behind your dresser, in your closet but never look up, she hates being seen. — AnarchistWaffles

 

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Image via YouTube

 

3. I woke up to hear knocking on glass. At first, I though it was the window until I heard it come from the mirror again. — therealhatman

 

 

4. She wondered why she was casting two shadows. Afterall, there was only a single lightbulb. — pgan91

 

5. There was a picture in my phone of me sleeping. I live alone. — guztaluz

 

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Image via Robert JR Graham

 

6. They delivered the mannequins in bubble wrap. From the main room I begin to hear popping. — Mikeyseventyfive

 

7. My daughter won’t stop crying and screaming in the middle of the night. I visit her grave and ask her to stop, but it doesn’t help. — skuppy

 

 

Featured Image via Drago Art