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Two questions about short stories

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Incanus, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. Incanus

    Incanus Auror

    Specifically fantasy short stories. As far as newer fantasy, I'm only familiar with some of the huge, epic novels. So...

    #1. Are writers still doing related series' of short stories anymore (such as Conan, Cthulhu, Zothique, etc.)?

    #2. Do people still write prose poems? (or, if they do, are they now just considered flash fiction?)
  2. LWFlouisa

    LWFlouisa Troubadour

    Do story collections that work toward a larger arc count?

    I guess you could say I do prose poems, though I generally refer to them as flash fiction.
  3. Incanus

    Incanus Auror

    I suppose 'collections that work toward a larger arc' would count, but I don't think I've seen this, old or new (at least not in fantasy), but I will be happy to be corrected/updated.

    I'm still learning, but there does seem to be a distinction between prose poems and flash fiction. I see modern flash fiction all the time. I'm not sure I've seen a modern prose poem.

    So, if no one else is doing these sorts of things, let's bring them back!! Apparently, it will all be new to current, modern readers.
  4. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

    Within traditional publishing it seems that short stories are pretty much only viable if you're submitting to magazines or to a specific story collection. But a lot of indie writers are experimenting with short stories and serial stories and all sorts of different formats.

    I'm pretty sure prose poetry and flash fiction are two completely different things. Flash fiction is basically just really, really short fiction. Like less than 1000 words short. Prose poetry isn't dependent on length, it's just prose written with some of the aesthetics of poetry like heightened imagery, greater attention paid to rhythm and literary techniques like alliteration and such.

    Personally, I'm all in favor of greater experimentation in story structure and length. My current work in progress is writing 10-16 short stories that will introduce the heroes of a longer work revolving around a quest. At first it seemed natural that the longer work featuring all the heroes should be a novel, but lately I've been considering making it more like a serial with each installment like a very long short story or novella. For this particular tale that seems like a promising format.

    Because I've decided I'm going to be an indie author (I have no interest in traditional publishing deals) I have the freedom to choose whatever structure, format or length I want for any of my work. It's very liberating.
  5. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

    I don't know if anyone's doing mash up novels of short stories any more. I hope it's a viable thing. I'm all for it.
  6. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    Well...on this site there was the 'Iron Pen Anthology,' (now on Amazon). All short stories, none of them linked.

    And maybe sometime within the next few months, also sprouting from the gang at Mythic Scribes, there is 'Trials of Jobe,' a linked collection of short stories by different authors.

    But even in the old days, the short stories featuring the likes of Conan or Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser appeared in the magazines of the day, and were not assembled into anthologies until much later.
  7. Pamela Scalf

    Pamela Scalf Acolyte

    I would think the idea of a collection of short stories all based on the same characters and/or in the same world would suit the indie format. People are looking for shorter works to read on their commutes etc.
  8. LWFlouisa

    LWFlouisa Troubadour

    It's more I prefer the pacing of flash fiction (hence why I find it so hard to break into novels). I just wish dark fantasy flash fiction were a thing. I tend to top out at 1,000 words a lot of the time. I'm enjoying 7-sketches. Where it's seven flash fiction pieces that tie together to a larger short story narrative.
    DaemonId likes this.
  9. Incanus

    Incanus Auror

    Great! Thanks everyone, just the kinds of responses I was hoping to hear. It's not that I mean to slavishly adhere to the formats, but just that I want to have a working understanding of them. I'm pleased to learn that folks are doing creative things with shorter pieces. I like the idea of experimenting and playing around with them. Mythopoet's related short story project sounds really, really cool to me. As does the idea of the '7-sketches'.

    As for me, I've only managed to get one piece in under 1000 words; my first prose poem. It was a lot of fun, and I've got ideas for at least two more, though they won't be related to one another.

    In any event--Happy New Year scribes!!! I'm about to kick off a 4-day weekend!

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