“A short story is a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting and focuses on a self-contained incident or series of linked incidents, with the intent of evoking a single effect or mood.” Wikipedia.
I enjoy short stories. The brevity adds to the intensity. I am constantly amazed how the storyteller gets to the heart of the theme, portrays the dilemma, and reaches the conclusion. BINGO. The last book of short stories I read was the powerhouse, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, by Deesha Philyaw. I listened to the whole book, all nine stories, in one sitting.
When you are a saga writing author like myself, short seems nearly impossible. I am always wondering, How Do They Do That!? What magic do they possess? Many great authors do both short and long. Charles Dickens, T.C. Boyle, to name two.
I don’t know all the answers; but I study others and explore through my own writing. I have expanded scenes and stories with my characters that don’t work in a manuscript but are too intriguing to leave on the cutting room floor. Is that reason enough to write short? Mayhap.
The Dragon Lord is a short story I have coming out in Unlocked, an Anthology, by Paper Lantern Writers. Set in Medieval Ireland, it follows my characters, Eloise, and Roland (from Archer’s Grace and the Dahlquin series). I was compelled to write a winter solstice chapter. Admittedly, I really wanted to write a bedroom scene of the longest night of the year. Something to keep my characters, Roland and Eloise, and my readers happy. But winter solstice is deeper than that. The ancient beliefs blending with the Roman Church – the spiritual quest. This theme runs deep in all my books, and it couldn’t be ignored here.
This anthology is my first and my first time collaborating with other historical fiction writers. Our only requirement was the chest in the photo. It had to be in each story. We had to coordinate the time periods and its dimensions. Our styles are different, and our stories are diverse and engaging – educational and entertaining for me as a reader and writer for sure. It has been a learning experience and I hope to do it again.
What are YOUR favorite short stories? As a reader and writer, I would love your recommendations.
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Anne M. Beggs writes adventure romance and family saga set in Medieval Ireland. She is a member of Paper Lantern Writers and Historical Novel Society. For about her books, mounted archery, and horses, please contact her on Facebook or Instagram @annitbella72