Confessing A Crime

August 25th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

We can specifically remember the day we “got” short stories. It was high school, possibly our sophomore year. Now, this shouldn’t be a surprise — what else were we supposed to learn that year (sophomore year being the time of biology and a rather frustrating experience with something called geometry). Alas, we didn’t learn our appreciation in school — we found happiness the old-fashioned way: when we stole a book of W. Somerset Maugham’s short stories from our mother’s personal library. As she, unfathomably, never rereads anything, the loss has gone unremarked until this confession.

A year ago, we attempted our first short stories, with surprising success (especially given our philosophy: why use one word when a million are just as good). While we applied what we’ve learned from writing novels to a shorter format, we believe, despite Charles McGrath’s skepticism, that the opposite is entirely logical:

The majority of people who enroll in these programs want to be novelists, but novels don’t lend themselves very readily to the workshop format, and so would-be novelists these days spend at least part of their apprenticeship working on stories. They’re a little like those people who learn golf by never venturing onto a golf course but instead practicing at a driving range.

Hmm. All of this makes us want to ditch our meeting (still no shoes, and we’re last in line for the shower) and pull out our purloined book…

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