Short Story Writing

STOP READING.  Work in progress.

First, welcome to my website. It’s official name is:

I cobbled it together because I love reading and writing short stories. The short story seemed in danger of becoming a lost art form.

Several things happened. One of the most interesting was when Hollywood discovered that short stories often make better movies than novels or magazine articles.

That’s the focus of this website.

In order to pin down what I’m talking about, indulge me and let me tell you about the kind of short stories I’d like to chat about.

You know the old joke — how long is a Chinese name? The key is what how long means. It could be proper noun. And it depends if you are asking a question or making a statement.

If I told you it was a statement, you might get it the idea that what I’m really saying is that How Long is a Chinese name. But if I’m asking a question there answer could be infinity.

So for our purpose let’s say that a short story is measure of length and time. Let’s say the average short story is about 300 words and takes about as long to read as it takes to drink a cup of coffee. Or maybe three. 

Picture yourself wrapped up in a short story, really savoring both it and the coffee you are drinking.

Hollywood producers and executives who are super busy and really smart, in almost all cases, discovered that they’d rather read short stories than treatments. Nearly all treatments are fairly boring … backstroking your way through the tar sands is more fun.

Even if a treatment works for a studio executive … financial contributors are more apt to get excited over a well crafted short story than a bastardized version of an outline of a film.

I hate writing treatments; I love writing short stories.

For our purposes consider a short story as a Haiku that happens to be 500 words and heaven knows how many more. Let’s say 2,000 words.

Yes, you can argue with me. And you will probably be right. Remember that in Hollywood there are 99 exceptions to any rule. It’s like going to Las Vegas. What’s the point unless there’s some fun?

I have observed that those who take on the casinos do better as betters with a number of smaller bets. In both cases you’ll lose your ass but smaller bets allow you to soak up some of the ambience.

Have a cup of coffee and watch the crowds have fun. For some reason short story writers and screenwriters are crazy about coffee.

My wife and I are lucky. We live across the corridor from a delightful flight attendant. She flies all over the world. She just brought us back fresh beans from Guatemala. I’ll give you a report. You want to meet her? Here.

Now obviously if you’re going to count words or use a stop watch, that’s going to take your mind off the short story you’re reading. So let’s say that a short story is five minutes long if you read it outloud … or about the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee while you read the story.

If you’re lucky each will be delightful and more fun to do together.



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