I only occasionally write short fiction. However, I love to read a good short story.

It takes skill and word economy to write the best short stories. I consider the ability to write good short fiction a measure of a writer’s proficiency.

Readers also benefit from short stories. Here are five ways that short stories are good for readers.

Theyre short

This may seem obvious, but a short story takes less time to read than a novel. If it’s a good short story, it’ll still deliver a tale worth telling, just with much less time commitment on the reader’s part.

Theyre pithy

There’s no room for flowery description or long, exhaustive back story in short fiction. The upshot of this is that a short story delivers a tale stripped of clumsy adverbs and other excess verbiage, so the plot (such as it is) hits home with more impact.

They usually end with a twist

Good short stories are hard to write. But what makes them even tougher is the need to end them with a twist. The effect of this is to deliver a kind of one-two punch to the reader. Or think of it as leading the reader one way, only to pull the rug out from under them. Such an ending lingers in the reader’s mind and gives the story a depth it might not otherwise have.

Theyre a quick introduction to new authors

Perhaps you’ve never read a certain author, but don’t feel like committing time to a novel. What better way to get to know an author quickly than through reading their short stories? Keep in mind that not all authors are equally adept at short form fiction. Nonetheless, if the author has short works published, it’s well worth taking a look at them.

Theyre diverse in style

Not all short stories are alike. Some are stripped down plots that could be turned into novellas, with an added storyline or two. Others are moments captured, as if in amber, creating a description of a person or event by focusing on small instances of their life or the occurrence. Regardless of style or structure, the good ones go down easily, like mini-snacks. Thus, consuming short fiction will entertain, but not dwell on any one type of story for too long.

If you enjoy short stories or have never read my work, I hope you’ll consider taking advantage of the upcoming promotion for my short story anthology FIVE UNEASY PIECES.

Five Uneasy Pieces (Large - 300dpi)

The anthology will be free from Amazon all day on Saturday, Feb. 13.

Further, you can get a special short story that isn’t in the anthology, if you buy the Crime Cafe story package. Only 99 cents for all the stories contributed by authors interviewed on the Crime Cafe. Best bargain on the Internet!


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