There’s no waste in short stories: every word counts. I recall gladly a literary contest held in Iowa years ago, whose chief rule was a limit of one hundred words: a true invitation to meaningful conciseness.
If Stendhal defined the novel as “a mirror strolling down the street”, short fiction can hold up to the world a no less valuable reflecting surface. Far from diminishing it, brevity concentrates its narrative power, forcing language and style to serve the plot with absolute economy.
After all, Kafka used diminutive notebooks in order to master conciseness. Indeed, the art of paring down is precious for novelists, and not only: had they been able to meet for lunch, Balzac (“I wrote a long novel because I had no time to write a short one”), and architect Van der Rohe (“Less is more”) would have completely – and concisely – agreed.
Ah, yes: the above contains less than 150 words. But if you wish to know more about my short stories, click here.