Tuesday, June 13, 2006

It's tough to tell very short stories

I like to write very short stories. The problem is telling them. I say to someone, "hey, you want to hear a very short story?" Then I tell them something like this one:


"A woman was cutting meat. One of her arm bones asked to see the light of day. She cut herself open and bled all over the place. The nearby bones got excited and asked to see the world too."


The problem is everyone says something like "I don't get it." Seems that no matter how I deliver this story, people can't help but think it's supposed to be a joke. It might be that this genre of very short stories is not workable because of its superficial resemblence to jokes. People expect a punchline and a laugh, and when they don't get it, they are disappointed, and can't appreciate it on story terms.


I think it could work if I lied and prefaced it with "Let me tell you about this cool short film I saw. Here's what happened..." and then told the story. Then their expectations are completely different. Problem is, that would be lying.


1 comment:

Anthony said...

"A satisfying story," the critic sneered to the psycho, "must tie together beginning, middle, and -"