Saturday, November 8, 2008

Enough About Politics

I'm a writer, for crap's sake, and this is a writer's blog, so I should talk about writing.

I'm reading a couple of short story collections right now:

Flash Fiction


Stephen King's The Year's Best Short Fiction 2007.

The first has been disappointing. Hardly a 'story' in it that is a 'story.' Most are vignette pieces. What's the challenge in that? I know it's popular in the literary circles to write 1000 words or so of random drivel, but I prefer flash fiction to be an actual, complete, total, conflict-resolution STORY!! I wish they'd call their short-short vignettes something different. Like flash-boring. I mean, it's like listening to teenage girls bounce randomly from subject to subject.

The second, I've liked quite a lot, with a few exceptions. I prefer stories in which I can become attached to the characters, at least relate to them. But there are a few of King's choices in which that just doesn't happen. I can cite one example specifically--an older couple, retired, decide to go to a local toga party, realize they're too old and outmoded to live anymore, so they go home and kill themselves. How depressing! How ridiculous!

I do have to say, while the writing is excellent in every story, and the stories are well-told, there have really only been a few that have stuck with me in that profound way that I really LOVE stories to stick with me. If you're a writer you probably know exactly what I'm talking about when I say that I really love the kind of story that made me want to be a writer when I grew up, to want to cause that kind of deep thought and longing that I felt in the hearts and minds of others.

You'll have to read King's collection yourself to see what the stories do for you.

It is a truth that we drag our lives with us everywhere we go, and what is meaningful to one person may be vapid to another.

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