Saturday, June 11, 2005

I slammed into a writing slump and have spent part of today clawing my way out. Writing in longhand does wonders at times like these, and I'm moving along again, although I am no way near ready to return to writing on the computer.

Late yesterday afternoon I listened to "Fireman," a short story by Rick Bass that was included in The Best American Short Stories of 2001, edited by Barbara Kingsolver. (I do hope she has a novel in the works.) I thought "Fireman" was an amazing piece of writing, but it read more like a memoir than fiction. By the way, in relation to my post earlier this week, it did not conform to the traditional "conflict, crisis, and resolution" arc, not at all.

In the volume's introduction, Kingsolver wondered why short stories are not all that popular among Americans. She mused that, given our frantic lives, a story of twenty pages or so is the perfect way for people to fit fiction into their lives. But...Americans want novels, and, as she points out, the number of pages is not an issue. 400 pages, 600 pages, length does not matter.

I prefer novels because I want to be immersed in a fictional world for a long time. I like to wrap it around me like a blanket and curl up in it.


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