Why Short Stories Rock
Hi everyone, Jenre and Tam here. We are the new proprietors of Brief Encounters Reviews, which focuses on reviews of m/m short stories (less than 20K). While we both still enjoy longer novels and novellas in all m/m genres, there’s something about the short story that is a bit like crack, or chocolate. Every now and then you find that perfect high, the perfect story, and it makes all the “okay” ones worthwhile. So we have come up with five reasons that short stories rock, and hope you will join us at the blog and check out some of our reviews. We love to get into discussions about the books so feel free to chime in any time.
Lord knows we’ve all got a million things going on in our lives. Kids, spouses, day jobs, friends, pets, errands, laundry, cooking, blogging, writing; most of us are tugged a million ways during the week, and often the weekend as well. A short story can be just the break you need. You can take 30 minutes on your lunch or before you turn out the light at night, and have a complete story experience. It can be frustrating to read a novel in 30 minute bits, sometimes not getting back to it until the next day when you’ve forgotten what you read two or three days ago. There’s always room for a short story in your day.
We’ve all read that amazing novel where we just fell in love with the characters, where they feel like real people that we know personally. Later you think “I wonder if Joe and Bob ever got that dog that was mentioned in Chapter 12.” “I wonder how those two alpha males in book Y would celebrate Valentine’s Day?” Well, a revisit in a short story is a bit like receiving a quick e-mail from friends catching you up on their life and letting you know that all is well in their little corner of the literaturverse.
This can work both ways, finding new characters that you want to read more about (often we’ve sought out the novel that characters in a short story starred in) or it can be a way of deciding if an author’s style is really for you before plunking down $7 for a full-length novel. Do you like their voice? Do they write with a lot of humour? Do they use a tense or point of view that works for you, or one that makes you crazy? A short story can be the start of a wonderful romance, between you and the author or their characters.
Maybe you think you hate friends-to-lovers or the geek/jock storylines; you’re not sure about BDSM, and certainly are not into anything kinky like fisting or sounds; science fiction is a total turn-off in romance … you think. A short story can be a way to dip your toe in the water of themes that might normally scare you off if you haven’t had the chance to experience them. Again, before buying an expensive novel, only to read it while covering your eyes and wincing, then kicking yourself for “wasting your money”, you can have a little taste and decide if you want a bigger portion later.
This time we mean real people, (we know, we know, authors think their characters are real). We have met so many great people who are as enthusiastic about short stories as we are, on-line and in real life. We know shorts aren’t for everyone, some people do find them frustrating, and even we can find them so at times and end up whining about wanting MORE, but we’ve gotten to talk/meet with some wonderful authors and readers and have been able to share our passion for the short story along with them. (You can guess who’s who.)
So there are some of our reasons why we love short stories at Brief Encounters. We hope you will stop by and hi. How do you feel about short stories? Are you a fan, an anti-fan or meh about shorts? Just remember, good things often come in small packages.