Short or long, stories pack powerful punches

Today, I’m blogging over at the Whine Sisters, and I posted a link to Porcelain Unicorn, a truly lovely short film. And I mean short. Just three minutes. Pop on over and check it out if you want to see a truly powerful punch packed into just three short minutes.

Compare that to something like Game of Thrones, which I’m currently reading. Or Schindler’s List if we want to stay both on theme and with film. Also gut-wrenching, with deep emotion and strong themes.

There’s a lesson there, you know, and it’s not just that creative folks can make movies to fit the parameters of contests. No, it’s that sometimes the story dictates the length. And if you let the story do that, you’re going to get more bang for your buck because the emotion can either be drawn and milked and developed, as in a longer story, or laid out with heart-wrenching power (or humor or pathos or horror) as in a shorter work.

I haven’t always been a fan of shorter stories–I preferred to meet characters and then stay with them. It’s one of the reasons I love books that are part of series. But I’ve done several shorts now, and I love them. From short short stories to novellas.

Right now, I have three shorter works available, and each of them are exactly the length that they should be (which, frankly, is an advantage of epublishing). The first is a novella, SHADOW KEEPERS: MIDNIGHT, which is the prequel to my upcoming release WHEN PASSION LIES (which got a great review in Publisher’s Weekly and was named Amazon’s best romance for May! Yay!).

When Passion Lies
Shadow Keepers, Book 4

I’ve also got a fun, edgy short story in Love Is Murder…very noir and very short. And, again, just the right length for the story.Love is Murder (ITW anthology) cover

The Demon You Know cover art
Just released in e-format!
And, of course I’ve already chattered on about The Demon You Know, my first foray into indie e-pubbing. (subliminal message…only 99 cents … buy, buy…it’s cheaper than a cuppa coffee….ahem…sorry. Back on track…)

All of which brings me to my ePub Tip of the Day: The cool thing about publishing ebooks is that you truly don’t have to worry about word count. Write the story as the story needs to be written. And doesn’t that just feel great?

3 Comments

Julie Farrar

This short film is also the reason I’ve always been a fan of short stories. I love when a writer can pack so much meaning into so few words.

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Liv Rancourt

So much has been made about how e-publishing has allowed for increased accessibility, but you bring up a really good point. If the writer isn’t constrained by the “rules” of genre to create a work of X number words, they can just tell the story. That has to be a good thing.

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