Here’s a wonderful post by a man named Harvey Freedenberg on The Book Lady’s Blog. The author is a lawyer who took a sabbatical to study creative writing. It’s a wonderful post and here’s what he has to say about short stories:
Like many aspiring writers, I thought short stories were the training wheels of fiction and that once I picked up the basics of setting, character, plot and voice I’d move on to write my novel. What it took me a while to realize is that writing short stories is hard. It’s the reason why lots of people learn to ride a bike but only a handful of them make it to the Tour de France. So I’m grateful for The Book Lady’s invitation to share with you some of the short stories I treasure, my Bare Necessities, ones that are so good they make me think writing a novel might turn out to be easier than creating one good, true story.
Harvey also mentions Jim Shepard in his post:
Short story writers, particularly those who’ve graduated from MFA programs in the past generation, are chided for producing precious, formulaic fiction. That criticism can’t be leveled at two astonishing collections I’ve read in recent years. One is Jim Shepard’s Like You’d Understand Anyway, which pretty much covers the globe (and beyond with a detour into space alongside some Russian cosmonauts) and the entire sweep of human history from Roman Britain to the present day (including visits to the French Revolution and nineteenth century Australia) in eleven stories…
The post goes on to quote an amazing passage from Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, which I know to be a collection of stories that Jim loves as well. Please take a look at the full post by clicking here.