A Short Story is Not a Car



-45372083853575__480x360-RGB_565-205044809 At the writers’ group we were issued a list of things to check when we’re critiquing each others’ stories, things like plot, character, setting, dialogue. We’d put a tick or a cross depending whether the requirements were met. All well and good. Yet I couldn’t help thinking of the checklist that mechanics fill out when they’re servicing your car. So I said, “A short story is not a car!”

This put a brake on proceedings. They didn’t know what I was driving at. I didn’t know what I was driving at either. I just felt it was wrong. I don’t know what a short story is like but I do know it’s not like a car.

What do you think a short story is like?

8 thoughts on “A Short Story is Not a Car

  1. My mind bends with how humans seem to need to cling to classification/labels and just generally making everything fit nicely into categories. Whilst it could be argued that a short story should contain all the elements ‘listed’ to make it ‘satisfying’ surely the concept of creativity even in writing does not need to conform? It’s a guideline isn’t it… perhaps a short story is a ‘mode of transportation’ and some will be a car. Some will be bicycles, some will be hot air balloons and some of them, if we are really lucky will be Buzz Lightyear ‘I’m not flying! I’m falling, with style!!’ 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very cleaver the way you constructed it.

    When I was a student I remember very well the advice of Cicero, he said:

    In the art of speech (or writing) action makes everything, it consist to say:as much as you can, with great economy of words.

    I guess that’s the key of a short story, as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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