I could tell you about how writing short stories saved my life, how writing short stories is the best revenge on those who’ve done you wrong, how maddening and time-consuming it is to write short stories that work, how I can write half a novel in the time it takes me to craft a good short story, how I once wrote a story called “Bocky Bocky” which has the actress Uma Thurman as a very weird character who insists on folding a drowned man into various yoga positions, how a Los Angeles Times book reviewer, in a generally favorable review of my story collection My Chaos Theory, speculated that it was only a matter of time before I would be contacted by Uma’s “people,” and how I’ve been nervously living under the Sword of Damocles ever since.
Instead, though, I’d like to share some of the Don’ts of Writing Short Stories from my dear friend Jerome Stern’s wonderful book Making Shapely Fiction. Jerry died fifteen years ago but he lives on in my heart and in the hearts of everyone who knew him—and in the pages of MSF. And if you don’t make it a point to get your hands on a copy, well I feel sorry for you. I really do.~ read more ~