Dear short fiction, how do I love you? Let me count the ways…
You were this reader’s first love. My eyes widened and my heart raced when reading Philip K. Dick’s short stories, my introduction to science fiction. You carried me to strange, new worlds; filled with limitless possibilities. You crammed small explosions of pleasure into you sparse, expertly narrated pages.
You were this writer’s first love. When I started writing, I did it through you. I honed my art on your lean prose. Everything I learned, I learned with you: how to show, not tell. How to avoid the kind of rich prose that gives readers mental heartburn. How to build up tension. How to characterize with nothing but the simple turn of a hand-picked phrase, or a well-placed beat. How to present my back-story through a few lines of dialogue, instead of long, descriptive passages. How to minimize my words, while maximizing their impact. It is you, and you alone, who have made me a better writer.
When I became a published author, it was again through you. Back in 2009, you introduced me to the publishing world. My short stories were published by 9, a newspaper magazine; then in Invasion; an anthology. You presented me with my first payment slip – one hundred and fifty euros. Oh, how I enjoyed that! Almost as much as that very first award you offered me, for I Come In Peace.
When I self-published, it was through The Power of Six, my collection of 6+1 short stories. When it reached #1 in its genre on Amazon, you gave me yet another treasured thrill. “Six tasty morsels that make a satisfying meal,” a reviewer called you, and I couldn’t agree more.
When I share you on my blog or newsletter, it gives me such delight to hear back from readers telling me how much they enjoy you. And why wouldn’t they? Who can compete with you? You can be as lean as to measure under a hundred words; or as immersive as to include thousands of them. I have even seen simple two-phrase stories that blow your mind in a kaleidoscopic burst of emotions, like tiny, titillating waves of pleasure.
So, short fiction, you’re my favorite. Sure, novels – your pet hate – are fun, but they’re so demanding. You, on the other hand, are so simple in your needs, yet elegant in your powerful prose. How can I not love you?
Avid reader. Web developer. Architect by training, holder of a PhD in Digital Architecture from the University of Edinburgh. Most importantly, author.
Nicholas lives in Athens, Greece, at a forest’s edge, with his wife, dog and two very silly cats, one of whom is always sitting on his lap, so please excuse any typos in his blog posts: typing with one hand can be hard. Mercifully, all his books are professionally edited.
Nicholas is all around the Internet, but the best place to find him would be his blog, http://nicholasrossis.me/
Anyone interested in his books can check them out on Amazon:
People can read Runaway Smile for free on http://nicholasrossis.me/childrens-books/
or buy it from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Runaway-Smile-fairy-unshared-wasted-ebook/dp/B00QQC2YLY/
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5 thoughts on “Why I Write Short Fiction: A Guest Post by Nicholas C. Rossis”
Thank you so much for publishing my post! 🙂
You’re welcome! Thank you for contributing!
Reading one of your short tales now and enjoying it a lot!
Aw, that’s the best compliment you can pay me. Thank you!! 🙂