Are short stories a dying art?

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  1. bulletproofchris profile image60
    bulletproofchrisposted 14 years ago

    I truly love the short story, and often wonder why there aren't more authors in the genre. Is it a lack of interest by the readers, or the writers, or both? Am I wrong, and why? Any thoughts on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Valerie F profile image60
      Valerie Fposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Lately I've just scripted two short stories for a comic book anthology and written (as well as scripted) two more. So I know that there are readers and publishers around who are interested in short stories of some kind or another.

    2. LeslieAdrienne profile image72
      LeslieAdrienneposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I think that it is a lack of  marketing room....there are so many other things and genres that are pushed forward that the short story author has to scream to be seen.....I think that they are in abundance, just hard to find in the other abundances smile

    3. profile image0
      WildIrisposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I am not a short story writer; I am a short story reader. One of the reasons I subscribed to The New Yorker was to read the short stories. I read most of Alice Munroe's short stories before they came out in a collection. I am also addicted to selected shorts of the radio. One of my recent favorites is T.C. Boyle's "The Lie." I read short stories because I do not always have time to read a full length novel, and short stories satisfy my craving for story.

      I think there are quite a few short story writers out and about being published, you just have to look for 'em.

      I never read short stories on the internet. Magazines, periodic publications and books, yes, but I never read stories on the computer.  The computer just is not comfy enough to curl up and read with. I also think reading habits on the computer are different than those habits of reading the printed page.  Perhaps that will change when more people start using Kindle devices.

    4. profile image0
      LegendaryHeroposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I just wrote a short story about 4 boys traveling in a forest and trying to cross a creek.

    5. IntimatEvolution profile image70
      IntimatEvolutionposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I truly think it is a dying art.  Along with folklore, and anything that required family time without modern technology.

    6. aware profile image69
      awareposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      i do short storys nice to meet you

    7. Rombie1986 profile image60
      Rombie1986posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      i've wrote so many short stories that I can't even count them all anymore. Right now I am working on a novel though. The novel actually goes on my hub chapter by chapter each week right now.

      If you know where to look, you can find all sorts of short stories out there. I love short stories too so I know how you feel.

    8. teikounosenshi profile image60
      teikounosenshiposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      For my sake, I sure hope short stories aren't a dying art. I've found a small e-book publisher that is just getting started publishing short stories. If it's a dying art, they wouldn't be looking for short stories!

    9. Katharella profile image76
      Katharellaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I'm finding since the beginning of the internet I've watched people, ordinary people who wouldn't ordinarily have an attention problem, have one, due to the overflow of information in today's society. I actually find myself reading a short story, that catches my interest in the beginning, intrigues me to know what happens next, to the end, very rapidly, because the writers are so vast, it's hard to choose which ones to spend the, every so precious time on. smile Just one of those random things I think smile

    10. meow48 profile image66
      meow48posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I love short stories.  To me a concise quick revelation soothes my soul more than any novel would.  Guess the fear of dying before finishing a novel tends to weigh on one's mind... at my age... But with the demise of reader's digest... i do wonder what will become of this genre. The writing sites i am on though allows me to still enjoy them. meow48

    11. alexmita profile image60
      alexmitaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      bulletproofchris, are they? I find I can only write short stories, everytime I have tried to write a book, I keep getting stuck. I love reading them also because sometimes I don't have the patience to read a whole book.

    12. C.A.Burch profile image60
      C.A.Burchposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Bulletproofchris, in an interview i watched of Stephen King he mentioned that authors and writers tend to focus on making the next big novel. I understand where he's coming from with that but I love to write short stories, I have published one book but I find that with a short story I'm able to challenge myself more with keeping everything to the point!

  2. profile image61
    logic,commonsenseposted 14 years ago

    It's a long story! smile

    1. bulletproofchris profile image60
      bulletproofchrisposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      care to elaborate? you've peaked my interest...

    2. Rochelle Frank profile image91
      Rochelle Frankposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Lol- big_smile

  3. marieryan profile image73
    marieryanposted 14 years ago

    My favourite short story of all time is : The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant.
      No, the short story cannot become dying art, in my opinion, because I believe the market for it is growing, due to the very nature of our modern-day lifestyle. There is probably a general perception that we don't have as much time to read as in the past, so I think the short story has a valid place in literature nowadays.
    I keep trying to start/finish War and Peace, but a shroud of sleep comes over me before I finish the third page every time!

    1. bulletproofchris profile image60
      bulletproofchrisposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      you make some good points. i agree that today's fast-paced society is a perfect match for it, but for some reason short stories don't  get the respect or attention i think they deserve. 'Crouch End' (one of my favorite short stories by stephen king) or any number of other such tales by a variety of writers, is just as valid in the literary world as 'War and Peace' in my opinion. Thanks for the reply!

  4. profile image0
    Crazdwriterposted 14 years ago

    I myself love to write both short stories and long novels. I am going to do my best to find a literary agent that takes both smile

    1. bulletproofchris profile image60
      bulletproofchrisposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      i wish you all the best!

  5. Sab Oh profile image57
    Sab Ohposted 14 years ago

    I always liked "The Story of an Hour"

  6. tipperary profile image60
    tipperaryposted 14 years ago

    I write short true stories,  i find if i keep them short it holds the attention of the reader,  it works for me.  However, i know it depends on what you are writing about whether you want it long or short.  I have read some stories that were so good i wanted them to go on forever!

    1. bulletproofchris profile image60
      bulletproofchrisposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      absolutely true...there are some stories that should go on forever.

      1. jj200 profile image65
        jj200posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Isn't the best short story one that leaves you wanting more? As a genre, I believe that a short story is meant to be more of a "glimpse" than a whole tale. Though, maybe that's just from the authors I read.

  7. Sab Oh profile image57
    Sab Ohposted 14 years ago

    Do you all prefer fiction or non-fiction in short stories?

    1. bulletproofchris profile image60
      bulletproofchrisposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      i mostly read fiction, but non-fiction, if written well, can be just as good. also depends on the topic.

    2. LeslieAdrienne profile image72
      LeslieAdrienneposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Well written fiction...

  8. diamondzulusa profile image56
    diamondzulusaposted 14 years ago

    heyy nice story but in real its very long

  9. profile image0
    shazwellynposted 14 years ago

    I love to read and write short stories.  Here at hubpages I do a mixture of both factual articles and imaginary stories.  Unfortunately, the short stories get less hits - not because they are badly written (I've had a couple published in magazines) but because people can't be bothered to put the time in to really read.  You cant scan a short story, it has to be mulled and digested. 

    I think people's attention span is less on the internet and they look for a quick hit.  Short stories dont tend to do this, whereas article writing is precise.

    What do you think?

    1. bulletproofchris profile image60
      bulletproofchrisposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      i think you make some very good points; ones i hadn't thought of before. that's why i wanted to post this question. i just don't understand why they don't get more attention in the public, or the literary world, for that matter...why do the masterpieces all have to be 800 page whoppers(not that i haven't loved a couple of those, as well)? i love short stories, and sometimes think it must be so much harder write them.

  10. Ron Montgomery profile image60
    Ron Montgomeryposted 14 years ago

    I think we are at the beginning of what will someday be known as a golden age for short stories.  The problem with marketing short stories up til now is that they are hard to package.  You have to publish an anthology or include one in a magazine, which means the reader often has to purchase something he isn't interested in to get to the short story.

    With the new digital readers (kindle etc.) you will be able to purchase only the material you want, and I believe this will encourage more writers produce "singles".

    1. Rik Ravado profile image84
      Rik Ravadoposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I hope you are right.  For example, the HubPages format is much more targeted to the short story than a novel.  We do live in an age of the sound byte and increasingly short articles with lots more visual information.  Unfortunately I don't think any of us who write fiction on HubPages, even short stories, get much traffic. 

      On the up side its so easy to publish and illustrate a short story on sites like HubPages.  Much less trouble than trying to find a traditional magazine to buy and publish them!

      1. LeslieAdrienne profile image72
        LeslieAdrienneposted 14 years agoin reply to this


        We may not get much traffic now, but persevering and loving it will bring the exposure that's needed. smile

      2. bulletproofchris profile image60
        bulletproofchrisposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        good point. the online reading choices are growing...maybe the short story will find a happy home there...

  11. thisisoli profile image72
    thisisoliposted 14 years ago

    I have written short stories for a couple of sci-fi magazines, aparently Horror is the easiest short story genre to get in to though!

    There are several forums out there dealing with short stories where people post new short stories every day!

    1. profile image0
      shazwellynposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I would really like to know what these are.  Any chance of letting me know? x

    2. LeslieAdrienne profile image72
      LeslieAdrienneposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I'd like to know about them those forums as well.....Thanks

  12. Dame Scribe profile image58
    Dame Scribeposted 14 years ago

    I buy books with short stories smile love reading them while travelling, waiting tongue or enjoy a moment of peace smile I don't think they'll go out of style.

  13. yenajeon profile image72
    yenajeonposted 14 years ago

    Think of 'Interpreter of Maladies' its such a great short story book. I think the problem is poor writers. Creating a great story in a short space is very difficult and has to be done with such style and precision, I feel most authors just arent able to do it.

    1. bulletproofchris profile image60
      bulletproofchrisposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      i agree with the degree of difficulty it takes to write a really great short story, but there are so many talented writers that are intimidated by this fact...and the ones who should be intimidated wind up being the fools who write the crappy ones.

  14. AnythingArtzy profile image68
    AnythingArtzyposted 14 years ago

    I'm and avid reader and love short stories. as a matter of fact I'm woriking on doing some just for fun and have already written one. I'm no author by any means but if it is a creative endeavor I'm gonna try it. Hence my screen lol  Keep writing and it'll get read.

  15. FranyaBlue profile image75
    FranyaBlueposted 14 years ago

    I just published my first short story as a hub but i'm not expecting to get many hits on it, they work the same as poems I think, not very popular.

    There is a nice website called WriteInvite they hold a short story competition every Saturday at 5:30pm you sign up for free but then pay £3 to enter on any Saturday you like just make sure you pay in time coz you don't get the themes until 5:30 and you only have until 6pm to finish and submit the story in to them. If you win you get £40!

  16. avangend profile image61
    avangendposted 14 years ago

    "Welcome to the Monkey House," by Kurt Vonnegut, is probably my favorite collection of short stories. The ability to communicate a vast idea to a reader within the confines of twenty or so pages is both a skill and an art. "Atlas Shrugged" is a truly spectacular book, but it is not comprehensible as a single idea, and takes even the most diligent reader many days to finish it.

    Someone above posted that they miss "the story of an hour," and I certainly do too.

  17. donna bamford profile image61
    donna bamfordposted 14 years ago

    I don't think it is a dying art.  A Canadian writer Alice Munroe, won a major prize her for her short stories.  I write some short stories and enjoy the form.  I don't know that I am good at it but it is less demanding than embarking on a novel.

  18. pylos26 profile image71
    pylos26posted 14 years ago

    Short stories have always been my favorite.

  19. pylos26 profile image71
    pylos26posted 14 years ago

    And no...I don't think short stories will die out.

  20. profile image61
    logic,commonsenseposted 14 years ago

    Good ones are!

    1. kj8 profile image59
      kj8posted 14 years ago

      I hope not!

    2. torimari profile image67
      torimariposted 14 years ago

      I don't think so. Though I love my long books, sometimes a nice short story is great as well--especially if it can get such depth crammed in little space.

      I would think short stories would be more appealing to many people these days as sadly, I think the world is less about reading...or at least having patience as it is so quick paced.

      I rather think short stories are more in the long novels like some of Dickin's work for example. big_smile

      1. profile image0
        Mrsincadosposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I agree... People are not that much into reading books nowadays. Perhaps a repressed emotion or certain memories, from say high school. I know I did not like writing when I was younger, and now I find myself doing it everyday as if I were a drug addict.

        I don't think short stories are a dying art, but as a whole, books and the regalia is slowly fading. Due to the electronic/digital format we can so easily access it makes the people of today's society that much more piqued... short, easy on the eyes (some can be), and if the genre is appealing to those.

        Our world is indeed face paced, we are always on the go and rarely find time enough for ourselves let alone what we could find from a little book, or even in the case of digital copy. Patience is something a lot of people just do not possess, as a result... well a lot of things could be said.

        In any case, I enjoy short and full blown, 800+ page stories fascinating.

    3. Alota profile image60
      Alotaposted 14 years ago

      short stories are great

    4. Mark Knowles profile image57
      Mark Knowlesposted 14 years ago

      I love short stories. I have even written a few myself:

      Unfortunately - it is really hard to break into getting them published - and there are an awful lot of people writing short stories. I can see it taking off eventually, although the serial short is likely to be how it goes.

    5. mega1 profile image81
      mega1posted 14 years ago

      I love to write in short bursts of thoughts and love to read short stories (especially when I don't have much free time and don't feel like following a long novel)  But I have a hella hard time writing along a plot line - even for just a short story.  The best stories I've read like Katherine Ann Porter and O'Henry and Mark Twain etc.  always have a very nice, tight, plot - something happens which causes something else and the people who are living it are interesting and you care about the whole thing.  I find this so very hard to do!  Sometimes I think all I know about life I got from books so as for writing from experience I would have nothing to say!  booo hoooo . .  this is becoming a book itself!

    6. nataliepress profile image60
      nataliepressposted 13 years ago

      I joined months ago with the intention of writing many, but have only done one. Life is very busy it seems! But I would think with busy lives, more people would prefer short stories over many interruptions while reading a novel!

      1. bonny2010 profile image60
        bonny2010posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        i like to read long storie - ones that never seem to end - but i also like short stories - they are great time fillers = I don't think they will ever be athing of the past for this very reason, but then that is only my opinion

    7. Shadesbreath profile image79
      Shadesbreathposted 13 years ago

      Find literary journals or genre based magazines that have what you like and subscribe to it/them.  If you really like short stories, you have to support the places that are still trying to make them available in some degree of quality.  Otherwise, your gonna be on your own trying to shift through the noise of the Internet where quality writing is drowned out by the noise of hundreds of millions of keyboards vomiting "writing" in your face.

    8. profile image0
      ericvonjedposted 13 years ago

      Short stories are alive and well all around us. They are commecials on TV, they are television shows, they are the "news" (or newspeak) we see every day. Every good movie is based on a good novel or comic book, and good TV comercials are based on good short stories. The written story is necessary to provide a stable base, with all the details worked out, for all the other mediums of story telling to build upon. To support my argument, look at this summer's movies, based on some very old stories.

    9. profile image0
      Gracie Sophiaposted 13 years ago

      I adore writing and reading short stories. Perhaps Hubpages could have a short story contest.

    10. profile image55
      tlmntim9posted 13 years ago

      Only in Hubpages are short stories a thing of they past as their so called management team has the balls of a snail!

      What a farce!

    11. Rochelle Frank profile image91
      Rochelle Frankposted 13 years ago

      I think people like short stories-- but the print markets have dried up. There used to be a lot more magazines using them. Now there are fewer magazines. People watch too much TV.

    12. LoneWolfMuskoka profile image67
      LoneWolfMuskokaposted 13 years ago

      One reason that short stories are hard to come by, at least in traditional publishing, would be the cost factor.  People are not going to pay the same for a short as they would for a novel.  So short stories need to be collected (either all from an author, or several authors within a genre) to justify the cost.

      Either that, or they are published in magazines, newspapers, etc.  And more periodicals are focusing on their core business to be more efficient.  Short stories get squeezed out of most.

      I like reading short stories, but I prefer a novel where characters and plot have a bit more room to develop.  But short stories can still grab you and bring you into that little world inside our own imagination and that is always a great thing.

    13. 2uesday profile image66
      2uesdayposted 13 years ago

      I enjoy reading and writing short stories. I think that to tell a story well in the form of a short story, requires skill and it is probably good practice for other types of writing.

    14. Jael Turner profile image59
      Jael Turnerposted 13 years ago

      I have written short stories. People like them. I think it's difficult to get their interest unless the story has a good start. There is some media exposure that audiences are trained to expect some punch at the beginning. jael

    15. wachessor profile image60
      wachessorposted 13 years ago

      Less and less people are writing the short story, but I myself love them. Getting a lot or any money out of publishing short stories is difficult. More authors write novels for that reason.

    16. Tusitala Tom profile image69
      Tusitala Tomposted 13 years ago

      I doubt short story writing will die out; short story publishing just about has though, I think.  Collections of short story books are hard to come by in bookshops today.  Maybe there will be a revival due to the new electronic media.   For me, I frequently use short stories in my oral presentations to groups, e.g.  stories ranging anything from five minutes to fifty-five minutes.  Some are my own creations; some adaptations from actual events (history) and some are those I've read or had brought to my notice.  People love a story, especially one that does not take hours to get through.   No, the short story is here to stay...

      1. Jayne Lancer profile image93
        Jayne Lancerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        'I doubt short story writing will die out; short story publishing just about has though, I think.  Collections of short story books are hard to come by in bookshops today.  Maybe there will be a revival due to the new electronic media ...  People love a story, especially one that does not take hours to get through.   No, the short story is here to stay...'

        I totally agree with you here.

        You just have to look at HubPages and some literary websites to see that the actual art of short story writing is certainly not a dying one.

    17. Lucas H. profile image59
      Lucas H.posted 13 years ago

      Short stories can never die out, they can be malnourished and not marketed to the masses like commercial product and names. But they live on in the structure of the system.

    18. Jeff Berndt profile image73
      Jeff Berndtposted 13 years ago

      In short, no. There are plenty of magazines that exist specifically to print short stories.

      But short stories aren't particularly lucrative for the writer (unless someone turns them into a movie, like has happened with a lot of Steven King short stories).

    19. Jarn profile image60
      Jarnposted 13 years ago

      Short stories are not marketable or lucrative to the publisher, hence most magazines that still present them are non-profit groups or only produce an online zine to keep costs down. In short, the art is not dying. Plenty of people write them all the time, but marketing them to the public has been in its grave for almost a decade.

    20. Wajeeha profile image60
      Wajeehaposted 13 years ago

      Well, I do not think so this art is dying art. As, there are still many people around (I'm one of them) who just love to read short stories.

    21. profile image0
      Surabhi Kauraposted 13 years ago

      Not at all. In fact, people prefer reading short stories, instead of reading lenghty ones.  They are precise and concise. I would say, short stories are not a dying art, but an evergreen art.

    22. profile image0
      Amie Warrenposted 13 years ago

      I was getting into flash fiction (500 words or less) and micro fiction (100 words or less) for awhile now. I have a short attention span, so writing a novel will not be my thing. I found a very interesting piece online about people who are publishing full books of micro-fiction, and one guy who did a book where none of the chapters were over 1000 words. I could do that. My problem with writing a novel is that I don't like rewriting, but editing a 1000 word or shorter piece would be simple.

    23. PabstPenrose profile image61
      PabstPenroseposted 13 years ago

      I came to Hub Pages looking to share the short stories I had written with more of a "educated?" (maybe not the word I'm looking for) crowd. I picked up writing a few years ago, from a friend of mine who also wrote short stories. Our writing was completely different, but most readers enjoyed both. I've always thought up stories long enough for a novel, but I don't have the patience. I don't come across too many short stories like mine, or the ones I've seen though. I can't say that it's dying, because I'm probably not looking in the right place for them. -_-

    24. profile image55
      tlmntim9posted 13 years ago

      Unfortunately, from a marketing point of view, yes it is not only dying, but dead. Godless, directionless, moraless, self centered people have no room, need or desire for fantasy, hope or dreams.
      Well that is my opinion anyway.
      I love them! But then I also love God and people, another dying breed.

    25. Sab Oh profile image57
      Sab Ohposted 13 years ago

      Not at all dying.

    26. nighthag profile image81
      nighthagposted 13 years ago

      being an avid reader and writer, I focused my attention on novels, only recently venturing to writing short stories,
      My short stories have been received remarkably well on hub pages and I am discovering a whole new to approach to my writing...
      I hope this art is not dying out, as many great works have started as a short story......

      1. Shadesbreath profile image79
        Shadesbreathposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        It's not. smile

    27. Stories Inc. profile image64
      Stories Inc.posted 13 years ago

      I sure hope it isn't dying out, or I might as well start packing. But I think there are a lot of chances for short stories to be written and read online, if you're lucky enough to get noticed. I don't think the genre will die out anytime soon in this online context, but getting someone to publish them is tricky... I'm a great fan of them though, they're a great way to improve your writing and try out new things or go with weird ideas in a whim that would never have made it into novels. Besides, you can read a short story anywhere in a short period of time, which should be a plus in these hasty times, right?

    28. createyourworld profile image56
      createyourworldposted 13 years ago

      It better not!!! I'm in the process of writing a short story book and I would be crushed if short stories died out!!! It's what I specialize in, as I can't seem to find the attention span to write a huge long story. Dx

      What website is good to upload stories to? O:

      1. profile image56
        Sterne1posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I'm in total agreement--I too hope the short story form continues and thrives. After writing a historical novel set in China last year, I decided I wanted to practice and  improve my narrative art in smaller 'bites', so having a single main character with a challenge or dilemma they must face in 2000 words or less is ideal way to really compress the essentials and reveal them succinctly.

    29. lex123 profile image79
      lex123posted 13 years ago

      I don't think it is a dying art. I have a website for writing stories. (see my profile). I notice that the short stories are read and commented more times than the long stories because they take less time.

    30. Jaggedfrost profile image60
      Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

      So at the end of the day, if anyone cares to close and rap up this subject which was too general not to have an obvious answer, The Answer is no.


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    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)