Authors, Readers, I have a confession.
I cannot, for the life of me, write short stories.
This isn't for lack of trying, mind you. This is the pure and simple lack of know-how. I look at short stories the same way I look at music composition. "I know it can be done," I think, rubbing my chin. "I just can't fathom how."
I feel like there's a black hole inside my mind. "But you're a writer!" you say (or I imagine you do). "How can you not know how to write a short story?"
I just don't. I don't know how to tell a deep, intricate story in fewer than 80,000 words. I don't know how to fall in love with characters who I'm going to drop a few thousand words later. I can write novels (in varying genres), poetry, essays, rants, speeches, powerpoint presentations, but short stories?
I do know how to cheat, and how to sort-of produce a short story.
1. Write a long scene, pretending it's from a larger novel, with a begin, middle, and end.
3. Try to simplify your reason for writing the story. Try to get across a simple theme.
4. Say you're submitting a short story, lie, and then say, "but I thought 80,000 words WAS short!"
What about you, my friends? Can you write short stories? Is there one type of writing that you just don't understand?
P.S. I really, really would like to learn how to write a short story. Any tips?