Thursday, March 20, 2014

Rule Breaking


What rules should be broken when creating the new short story?

The current literary story uses sparse dialogue.

The new story should use much dialogue.

The current story focuses on the personal.

The new story should emphasize the public.

The acceptable story uses much description.

The new story should give a minimum of it. (Less is more.)

The old story has minimal action.

The new story should embrace action when it makes the plot and theme exciting.

Plot? A lot of it.

Themes need to go deeper than the delicate points of lit stories.

Instead of a single viewpoint, the new story should give every viewpoint, and do so in a minimum of space.

Is all this impossible?

Not at all. It may, in fact, be ridiculously simple.


Anonymous said...

Bingo! I'd say this is going back to the heyday of the short story, imho. I'm always beating the 'Roald Dahl' drum, but he really did do the things you ask from in pop lit.

"Simple" yes, deceptively so. It's actually really hard to always have something happening that feels natural. It's hard to know a character well enough to show what you need to show via dialogue. Minimal description *that works* is as hard as writing good poetry.

Seems simple, yeah, but it's super hard in practice. Not everybody can do it. ;) Uh-oh. Need to have more than the right mommy and daddy to have art pan out!

Anonymous said...

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