With the release of Lume Books’ thrilling new crime anthology, Given in Evidence, I’m pleased to have written an article on short story writing for the Crime Readers’ Blog published on their website.
A kiss in the dark with a stranger, rather than a marriage
Fellow crime writer, Gary Donnelly, recently told me about a reputed author who once compared a short story to ‘a kiss in the dark with a stranger, rather than a marriage’. This struck me as a rather beautiful analogy but also an accurate one. Like the former, short stories are brief, but they can also have a powerful and profound effect on the reader precisely because of their brevity and tendency to be read in one sitting, as opposed to a novel that gets picked up and put down. A reader has no time to get to know the short story’s characters in any real depth, just as one cannot pretend to know a stranger’s personality, unlike that of a spouse. Likewise, there is also no time for the writer to build up a meaningful relationship with his or her characters or get frustrated with them. The trappings of a full-length novel are stripped to its bare bones, its slow and steady process abandoned in favour of an intense swift resolution, and all you are left with are its basic elements, much like the kiss in the dark with a stranger which, although fleeting, is at the same time a thrilling, profound experience and invariably leaves you craving more!
Ready to read more!
SHORT STORY WRITING BY ALEX CHAUDHURI