Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"...the short story and the novel have completely different DNA"

Gil Adamson on the short story and the novel:

Keep in mind that the short story and the novel have completely different DNA. The reader's experience of the two forms might be similar. But at the nuts-and-bolts level, they share almost nothing. This, in my opinion, will explain why Alice Munro has never made the "obvious" jump to novels. The two forms are not as similar as they seem. To steal a joke from Mitch Hedberg (who was asked to write sitcoms just because he was a funny guy) it's like someone saying: "Oh, you're a chef? Well, can you farm?"


Dorte H said...

I think there is some truth in this. For ages I have fought to write crime novels, but not very successfully. Last year I participated in two writing courses, and they focused on very short texts (a few hundred words). As a result, I have got lots of practise in writing flash fiction, and now I find it extremely difficult to return to novels (I have become so used to present the bare bones).

Jonathon Miller said...

I am currently working on a longer piece. I thought it would allow me to take a break a clear my mind by working on short pieces, but it makes it very difficult to switch gears. I whole-heartedly agree.

Bang Bang Bang Firgal Moonlop Bang Bang Bang said...

I think it's really sad that short stories aren't as popualr as they used to be. I was reading a Kurt Vonnegut book and he talks about when he used to be able to make a living writing them for papers and when that stopped and it's such a shame.

Nice post.