Short Story Essays

John Updike’s is recognized as one of the greatest modern short stories, and it is well worth the short but absolutely enthralling ride on which you’ll be taken.Every word, every sentence, every paragraph speaks to you.

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Or follow the path of the inimitable Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose fame came from his essay, “Self-Reliant.” Or Nora Ephron, who between novels needed only “A Few Words About Breasts” to buoyantly make her point. Sandwiched between the novel and essay are short stories, novelettes and novellas.

Like readers, authors also have busy lives, especially first-time writers or entrepreneurs or doctors or scientists or celebs or influencers who are itching to tell their stories but are busy in life doing something else; it is they who especially need a helping hand. In all, five classic options exist in which to divine your creative tongue, and there are many professional writers out there, myself included, who live for the day an email arrives seeking our collaboration on something highly unique yet less than a full-tilt boogie novel.

An occasional evening, a lazy Sunday, regular commuter flights.

Then there’s the insatiable who can devour a whole opus like weightless caramel corn, reading between every crack in day or night until the last page is turned.

And unlike most short stories, each paragraph comes with a new little twist that, when combined, untether you from your assumptions in a seemingly simple emotional story of a subject who falls in love with his statute…or is it the other way around…or something else?

Or you may prefer Updike’s , a story inspired by his own life with this slicing sentence epitomizing the rest (when his son asks why): “Why.Assuming there are 325 words on a typical paperback book page, that’s 11 to 23 pages.On a single MS Word page using size 12 Times New Roman font and spacing at 1.1, this translates to between six and 13 pages fully typed. Like every person is different, so too is every reader. Except on a long vacation or flight, they don’t have the time.Others have a little bit of time, but only so much.These beget norms, and what people did 60 years ago following World War II, or even 25 years ago before the internet revolution, simply doesn’t translate to today’s world of multi-tasking, infinite choices, and throbbing impatience.The normalcy of today finds people reading shorter prose in less time with more distractions than ever before.But before you do that, give some thought to what you have to say and what your ideas might become.Below are parameters by length and other less tangible variables.That said, the narrative approaches vary widely, from first person to third person and present to past tense.Every great story finds its own unique voice, I firmly believe, and the short story wears this jacket tightly.

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