Saturday, 29 October 2011

Hunting the nocturnal moth. Not so brief notes on flash fiction

Writing about short fiction is like venturing into a misty uncanny field whose boundaries are blurred by the texts themselves, but forced to be rigid by the market. It’s been said that short stories, novelettes and novellas are not profitable, that they’re even a minor form of literature, a simple practice to achieve writing a novel —many publishers, editors and readers claim that—.

Some people think that the more words (therefore pages) in a book, the more valuable the text is because “writing more words requires a major effort than writing just a few words,” right? Some people tend to think that is better to pay 25 bucks for a 700-page novel than 15 for a 200-page short story collection since “they’re having more profit for their money,” right?

[No, it’s not right.]

Are people more interested on purchasing paper rather than literary works? The answer should be no, but no one knows. Fortunately, the growing eBook market is changing that idea, invigorating the short fiction in new, interesting ways.

Short narrative forms —as well as poetry, drama and novel— have been here for long and surely will last as long as readers exist. So why not use new ways to tell stories, entertain and create literature.