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Short story poll

Poll #1241712 Short stories

Do you like to read short stories?

Yes, and they're my favorite thing to read!
5(12.8%)
Yes.
23(59.0%)
Sometimes.
9(23.1%)
Meh.
2(5.1%)
No.
0(0.0%)
No, and I actually hate them and wish the form would die, die, DIE.
0(0.0%)

If you like short stories at all, what kind of ending do you enjoy the most, generally speaking?

Everything that happened in the story is fully explained and clear.
7(17.9%)
There is a bit of ambiguity in the ending; most things have been explained, but some are left open for interpretation.
27(69.2%)
Ambiguity, baby! I want lots of room to choose my own interpretation.
1(2.6%)
Something else I'll explain in comments.
4(10.3%)

What style of prose do you enjoy the most?

1. Eloquently descriptive, and characterized by supercalifragilisticexpialidocious words and a multiplicity of delightful adjectives and vivacious adverbs.
0(0.0%)
2. Spare like Hemingway.
2(5.3%)
Between options 1 and 2, but closer to 1.
10(26.3%)
Between options 1 and 2, but closer to 2.
18(47.4%)
Exactly in the middle between options 1 and 2.
8(21.1%)

What do you have to say about short stories?

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Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
reannon
Aug. 14th, 2008 01:27 pm (UTC)
They need to make me care. Often the writer forgets about that part. A novel has 300 pages to make me care about these characters. A short story has to make me care within one or two pages, or I'm gone.

As for the ambiguous ending, I'm a big fan of same. Also of the twist ending. And the "rocks fall everyone dies" ending. Frankly, I don't care if it's all wrapped up, as long as it is an emotionally satisfying ending.

Edited at 2008-08-14 01:27 pm (UTC)
mindyklasky
Aug. 14th, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
I like short stories, but I feel very cheated by vignettes, and most published "stories" (especially literary ones) are vignettes. To me, a story has a beginning, middle, and end, with defined characters who experience a growth (or deterioration-of-growth) arc. If I want long, brooding meditations on the world, I'll read poetry, thank you very much. Wow. I sound crankier than I mean to.
ivo_shandor
Aug. 14th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
I want the ending of a short-story to be the ending. I realize that seems like an obvious comment, but folks seem to miss it. I don't care if the character goes on to rescue Prince (the artist) or save the world, or anything like that... unless that's the point of the story.
I once heard the phrase "the story should be about the most important event in that person's life, otherwise why write it." It should end when that event has been resolved, whether it's which bagel they are choosing for breakfast (even if a monster is destroying the town, stop when they decide on poppyseed) or it's how to rescue the Handsome Prince (end when the hero braves all and arrives too late to stop the Prince's acid bath). The story should end, where it's supposed to end.
(Deleted comment)
ztrooper
Aug. 14th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
I like a shortstory that, while you feel like you jumped into the middle of a story, or got there 10 minutes after the show started, you can catch up by the end and understand what's going on, even if every little last detail is not explained.

I sort of like the disoriented feeling you get when they start talking at full tilt and expect you to have the backround already, though bits of it can be gleaned as you go along.
bibliofile
Aug. 15th, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC)
See, for the second and third options, I'd want to answer something like "all of the above" in general. For a particular story, I'd answer "whatever suits the story best."

For me it's not so much the elements of the story (e.g., type of ending) but how well the writer did it. Same goes for writing styles.

For spare writing, I find Hemingway boring and Cather brilliant. Subject matter and attitude can matter more than style. (Whether I want to read any style at any time is a different question, though.)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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