Why are short stories interesting to readers?

A confession: I love short stories!

I love them because they are short. I suspect that’s why many — maybe most — people like them. Because they are short.

That said, they are not simple. Many people think a short story is an easy thing to write. A piece of fluff. A lazy person’s output. A writer’s cop-out.

What they really are is a long story — a novel — with all the extraneous material thrown out and everything that’s essential to the story retained, refined and highlighted so the reader gets what the story is about without having to wade through a lot of stuff that was included because the author was too lazy to think about what they wanted to say so said everything that popped into their head. Or because the author needed to meet a word count to make their book fit into a particular category in which word count was important.

Short stories don’t concern themselves with stuff like that.

They are about the story.

Only the story.

Just the story.

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