A tale of no great length, with the potential for eminent depth and insight.
Yes, I made that up, but I believe it to be true. I used to be of the opinion that short stories were inferior to novels, so much so that they didn’t warrant reading. As with so many opinions, this was formed through hearsay and ignorance. It’s like people who don’t play the drums or listen to The Beatles saying Ringo is rubbish – it’s so untrue it deserves punishment. Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to become informed and change my mind.
Although I still prefer longer tales, by reading and writing lots of short stories, I’ve found a new respect for the format. There is so much that can be achieved using a few thousand words. And the standards of short story writing seem to be constantly improving.
If you’re interested, you can find out more about the history and origins of short stories and the definition of a short story on Wikipedia.
By Christopher Fielden