PDA

View Full Version : Why Sudden Fiction?



maestrowork
04-21-2007, 05:14 PM
Not why you would write them (but if you want to elaborate on that, feel free), but what do you think people like sudden fiction? Why do people read them, and what purpose do they serve? Are they purely for entertainment purpose?

They're too short to have real character development, back stories, or many twists. Usually they're confined in a single moment. Unlike novels, they only hold your interest for a few minutes.

Do they last after you read them? If not, do you only like them as light, short entertainment? Or do you prefer them to be profound and thought-provoking within that 100 -1000 words? Why do you like sudden fiction?

Rich
04-21-2007, 05:25 PM
I write mostly short, short fiction. I'm either a very tight writer or I'm word-count impaired--or both. In keeping with "short" I also write poetry. I'm in the early planning stages of a novel, but I'm concerned that, because of length, I won't finish it. I've also published quite a bit of short stuff in national pubs and large lit mags (if you can call any lit mag "large.")

I write short fiction; therefore, I like short fiction.

benbradley
04-21-2007, 06:15 PM
Not why you would write them (but if you want to elaborate on that, feel free), but what do you think people like sudden fiction? Why do people read them, and what purpose do they serve? Are they purely for entertainment purpose?
Isn't ALL fiction purely (or mostly) for entertainment, or are you asking writers, as in it's not as marketable as longer works such as the ubiquitous (ahem) "fiction novel?"

They're too short to have real character development, back stories, or many twists. Usually they're confined in a single moment. Unlike novels, they only hold your interest for a few minutes.
Well, yes...actually that sounds like much of the SF I've read (and enjoyed!) as far as lack of character development and such. In fact there's the "Probability Zero" thing in Analog, a sometimes-section featuring an "impossible" short-short story which is featured on a single page or at most two facing pages of the magazine. I recall one by the late Isaac Asimov featuring the late Robert L. Forward.

Do they last after you read them?
Not sure what you mean by that. If it's thought-provoking like you ask below, it likely WILL last in the mind of the reader, perhaps more than a more boring novel.

If not, do you only like them as light, short entertainment? Or do you prefer them to be profound and thought-provoking within that 100 -1000 words? Why do you like sudden fiction?
I think they can be either, or sometimes even both at the same time. Have you read the ones I and others have written in the FF Challenge forum?

Cath
04-21-2007, 06:38 PM
I started writing short fiction as a way to improve my longer work - tightening the stories, thinking more about word choice, etc. - and just kind of stuck with it. There's something about getting a story across in as few words as possible that appeals to me. :)

Braydie
04-21-2007, 07:05 PM
Not why you would write them (but if you want to elaborate on that, feel free), but what do you think people like sudden fiction? Why do people read them, and what purpose do they serve? Are they purely for entertainment purpose?

They're too short to have real character development, back stories, or many twists. Usually they're confined in a single moment. Unlike novels, they only hold your interest for a few minutes.

Do they last after you read them? If not, do you only like them as light, short entertainment? Or do you prefer them to be profound and thought-provoking within that 100 -1000 words? Why do you like sudden fiction?

Sudden fiction could be a sort of misnomer. It might be true for the reader, but probably not for the writer. Confined to exact word limits, the writing is hardly suddenly written and suddenly ready to post. :)

IMHO: Some pieces are entertaining and can evoke a smile or a tear. The compassion and character of some of those in the pieces are, indeed, revealing and memorable.

Merry
05-02-2007, 02:26 PM
Some of them last well beyond the reading. One that springs to mind is a Tales of the Unexpected story that I read about 25 years ago (about a woman murdering her husband by boshing him with a frozen leg of lamb, which she then cooked and served to the police officers investigating the crime). I only read it once, when I was a child and have never forgotten it.

The really short pieces, i.e. c.50 words or so I like in the same way I like jokes. They may make me laugh/ sad etc. at the time and I enjoy them for that, but I don't necessarily remember them or the order in which things happen. (Yet - maybe I just haven't read one that hits a nerve yet.)

maestrowork
05-02-2007, 07:53 PM
One that springs to mind is a Tales of the Unexpected story that I read about 25 years ago (about a woman murdering her husband by boshing him with a frozen leg of lamb, which she then cooked and served to the police officers investigating the crime).

Isn't that the same plot of Sweeney Todd?

Pthom
05-02-2007, 11:42 PM
Isn't that the same plot of Sweeney Todd?
Close. It's more like "Eating Raul."

RMS
05-03-2007, 12:49 AM
It's exactly like an old Alfred Hitchcock episode. He must have taken it from that story. I never read it, but that tv show sure stuck with me too!

I like to write short fiction because I think it tightens my longer fiction also.

dclary
05-03-2007, 03:54 AM
It would seem to me that sudden fiction falls somewhere between "long joke" and "short story." That there's a nugget of a truth, or character moment you can illustrate with just a few words. Jesus used parables -- sudden fiction, if you will -- to teach his lessons.

It's an exercise in economy. I think people like knowing their time hasn't been wasted when they read great sudden fiction.

jvc
05-04-2007, 05:07 PM
I think the fact they only take a few minutes to read is one of the reasons a lot of people like to read sudden fiction stories. They can kick back with a cup of coffee, maybe they are at work and are on a break, and read a quick story to relax.

Soccer Mom
05-09-2007, 05:51 AM
Some of them last well beyond the reading. One that springs to mind is a Tales of the Unexpected story that I read about 25 years ago (about a woman murdering her husband by boshing him with a frozen leg of lamb, which she then cooked and served to the police officers investigating the crime). I only read it once, when I was a child and have never forgotten it.



It's a Roald Dahl short story. And it's an absolute crime classic.

Stijn Hommes
05-22-2007, 02:32 PM
Not why you would write them (but if you want to elaborate on that, feel free), but what do you think people like sudden fiction? Why do people read them, and what purpose do they serve? Are they purely for entertainment purpose? A lot of people are so busy they rarely spend time reading. Short stories can give them a nice shot of fiction even when they don't take up all that much time. It keeps the workaholics in touch with fiction. The purpose can be just entertainment, but I'm sure some people try to have some sort of moral in their stories sometimes.

jhtatroe
05-22-2007, 06:41 PM
As more and more fiction markets go online, I think sudden fiction is only going to get more popular. It's daunting to read long works onscreen and, let's face it, the Internet's attention span is about as long as this forum post.

I want to give people something that will stay with them beyond the time it takes to read it. But even more, I want them to read what I wrote and sudden fiction doesn't require as big an investment of their time... or so they think when they start reading. Five years later when the story is still in their heads...

Kate Thornton
05-25-2007, 01:08 AM
Yes, the internet is perfect for short short fiction. I have had stories published for the blackberry & cell phone markets! There's a place where short can really work.

detante
06-10-2007, 11:03 PM
Not why you would write them (but if you want to elaborate on that, feel free), but what do you think people like sudden fiction? Why do people read them, and what purpose do they serve? Are they purely for entertainment purpose?

They're too short to have real character development, back stories, or many twists. Usually they're confined in a single moment. Unlike novels, they only hold your interest for a few minutes.

Do they last after you read them? If not, do you only like them as light, short entertainment? Or do you prefer them to be profound and thought-provoking within that 100 -1000 words? Why do you like sudden fiction?

Sudden fiction is the wam-bam-thank-you-ma'am of the literary world. It's a restroom quicky with no strings attached. You feel good for having read something. The author feels good for having been read. There's no commitment involved, but if it was good and you run into each other later, you might decide to hook up again.

Ali B
06-10-2007, 11:52 PM
Sudden fiction is the wam-bam-thank-you-ma'am of the literary world. It's a restroom quicky with no strings attached. You feel good for having read something. The author feels good for having been read. There's no commitment involved, but if it was good and you run into each other later, you might decide to hook up again.

Well said!!!