The whining of writers still rings in my ears. For several years, Iíve heard the same complaint. The short story has died in the eyes of modern readers. The magazines have reached the plateau of nostalgia. No one writes short stories, anymore, and no one reads them, either.
Well . . . I disagree.
The short story and its writers are still out there. They havenít vanished nor are they forced into silence. There isnít a conspiracy against this genre or a decline of popularity.
What has occurred is this. The genre of short stories has moved, evolved and sprouted. In the last fifty years or so, the category branched out into new and interesting shoots.
Vignettes are stories that are very descriptive with no plot that originated in the theater.
A feghoot is a story that has a lot of humor but ends in a dreadful pun.
Anecdotes are short, interesting stories of some brief account that can be true or fictional.
Flash and sudden fictions are governed by the amount of words. Flash fiction has less than a thousand words and sudden a little over.
A drabble has exactly one hundred words and a mini-saga was born on Tweeter.
A dying genre does not branch out into other challenges. This movement should provide evidence that it is still very much alive. Itís creative power and structure is whimsical like a shape shifter.
Can a novel change its outer form and remain a novel? I donít think so. Short stories have in a sense, grown up.
So, when you grow up, where do you go? To the same places as when you were young? No. You venture further out. Writers are no longer contained in magazines and newspaper articles or some obscure bookstore. They are not willing to sit and be still. They are writing out their adventures.
The internet highway has allowed the creation and popularity of several sites for short story readers and writers to meet. You just have to take out a mere fifteen minutes online to find them. Some of them are free and others have memberships, but they are out there.
There are numerous anthologies seeking material and most writers have invested in owning and operating their own websites.
The point is . . . short stories continue to thrive. They continue to inform, inspire and entertain. You only need to grasp your sense of adventure to find them and please, stop planning its funeral.