I like things that are short. Quite a few of my favorite types of media are short: theatrical cartoons, Three Stooges shorts, Aesop’s fables, and Isaac Asimov’s short stories, to name a few. Curiously enough, my own writing consists mainly of short stories.
I initially kept my short stories to just one side of a page out of sheer habit, but as I write more I am finding myself becoming more comfortable with going beyond that self-imposed arbitrary limit. Curiously enough, my very first short story came in at 12 pages, which I felt was way too long, so there’s that, too.
There’s just something about quickly getting to the point. Sure, a one-page story doesn’t leave much room for character development, but it also means that a message can be delivered effectively without getting lost in the rest of the story. It also leaves armchair psychologists with little room to to find deeper meaning in between the lines.
It may also explain why I enjoy comic books. In addition to enjoying the exploits of Superman, the Green Lantern Corps and Mega Man each month, I have also taken a liking to the various Steampunk titles currently being printed by Antarctic Press. In addition to artwork relating to the book’s theme featuring comely lasses, each one has also featured two or three short comic stories featuring the works of Rod Espinosa, Fred Perry, and other creators.
I really enjoy those short comics. I read them, have a quick laugh or smile, and move on to other things. But unlike the one-issue comic stories I discussed previously, which are ‘fire and forget,’ those short comics (especially Perry’s) have me wondering about just what happened before and after the story. How did that Bad Guy end up as a pony? Who ended up winning the Fairyland Steampocalypse? Just why did Dr. Frankensteam create her Monster?
I also wonder if I am being given glimpses of a bigger tale that has been untold, or are these the scattered pages of a work that is not yet done even in the creator’s mind? Or perhaps, like myself, all they want to do is make a quick joke or point and move on without having to write a whole book. I can certainly relate to that!
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