Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Value of Short Stories

by L.C. Dean
I don’t know about many of you, but I remember my mother getting magazines with short romance stories or the first chapters of novels woven in amongst the practical advice and crafty ideas. Sometimes the stories filled just a few pages and other times they would be continued for a few months. Always they were readable over one or two coffee breaks. As a farmer’s wife, my mother rarely had the opportunity to just sit down and read. Many times a novel took her a month or more to finish as she would snatch ten minutes here or there. The short stories, however, provided a snippet of relaxation in the middle of her hectic life. 

As a kid, I always dreamed of writing the great romance novel – the one that readers would tuck under their bed and pull out again and again. And perhaps that dream will come to fruition one day, but for now I write shorts. Despite the reviews I and many fellow short story writers receive, which say again and again, “I wanted more,” there is a value to the short story that many overlook. As I type the end on a brief but (I hope) satisfying tale, I think of my mother and how she used to relish those little escapes provided by her women’s magazines, and I have to smile and think that perhaps I can offer that same sort of retreat to someone else.

Many women in today’s world work all day outside the home but still create a loving and healthy environment for their families. Finding time to relax can at times seem nearly impossible. Stories which can be read in twenty minutes to an hour are a positive. I have a friend who is a single mother and used to read only in the winter and only when her kids were not involved with school activities as her reading time was too often sacrificed to the needs/demands of family, job, and community. When I gave her a few 1Night Stands and a copy of Too Hot to Handle, she was thrilled. I had her read my upcoming EDGE series (Sturgis Rally Riders) as well. Although each of the four stories falls under 5,500 words, she enjoyed that she could read them over her coffee break or in the evening while waiting for a load of laundry after the kids were tucked in bed. Super shorts provide an ahhh moment that she cannot otherwise fit into her busy schedule.

So, while I do intend to write a full someday, for now I find joy in the thought that I and my publisher fill a niche – offering a bit of love, romance, or forbidden passion – in the lives of my readers. I hope you all find a moment to escape the mundane and enjoy a quickie now and again.

Blurb for Too Hot to Handle

Why the hell do I torture myself? Sitting in the sun and hiding a hard-on from his best friend is not Tucker's idea of fun. He’d rather drink beer and fantasize than destroy what he and Jase have.

A good fuck between friends, that the hell’s wrong with that? Heat and lust make a man do crazy shit, but Jase intends to prove he and Tuck can be lovers and friends.

When desire flares under the Texas summer sun, will it burn too hot to handle.

One lucky commenter will receive their choice of L.C.Dean's 
Too Hot to Handle or Runaway Virgin. 
Remember to leave your email in your comment!


Barbara Elsborg said...

I think writing short stories is an underrated skill to be honest. They're not easy! And I'm never sure when a reader says - it was too short - whether they loved it so much they wanted to read more - OR I failed in some way to make it the self-contained tale I'd intended. My biggest problem though - as you can see from this post - is how to use a couple of words when i can squeeze a few hundred in there.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree, Barbara. Writing a strong, cohesive short story is a bitch. Almost a difficult as the dreaded synopsis!

VS Morgan said...

What a great post LC! Congrats on your new release.

bn100 said...

Very nice post. The book sounds good.


L. C. Dean said...

I could not agree more with the responses. The short story is a challenge as it is always difficult to say in two words what I want to say in ten. Thanks for stopping by.