Short Stories on a Poetry Site - Joe Flach's Blog

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First I was me,

Selfish as can be,

Wanting everything from A to Z

And wanting it all for me.

Then I became we,

A part of an us.

I learned to share, give and take

I learned how to trust.

Next I was you,

Believe me it's true.

I would rather give than receive,

It was you I wanted to please.

Now I am them,

A family man.

Giving my children,

All that I can.

If you look real close,

It is easy to see,

I am older and wiser,

And no longer a me.

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Short Stories on a Poetry Site

Blog Posted:11/6/2012 10:26:00 AM
I know this is a poetry site.  And, I have posted over 800 poems here; but, sometimes I also like to write short stories.  I have posted a couple of those here throughout the years – the real short ones that fit within the character constraints – under the “narrative” form.

I just recently posted a Short Story titled, “Straight to Hell – A Short Story”.

One of my friends challenged me to put it into rhyme and make it a poem, but I don’ think I want to do that.  I like writing poems, and many of my poems do tell a story, but, somehow, I think fitting a story into rhyme makes it less genuine; less real; less personal; less natural.  It’s like you force the story into a form and the form becomes more important than the story itself.  I don’t know – what do you think?

Besides, I like variety and doing nothing but poems, I think, gets kind of boring – although I do write a lot of poems.

And, being that this is a poetry site, I suppose most of you don’t come here to read short stories, but, I put it here anyway for a few of you to stumble upon.  Thank you to those of you who have and left a comment behind.

So … are there other short story writers here, as well.  Which do you like to do more?


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Date: 11/6/2012 5:41:00 PM
I also have written short stories, about a dozen, but they are not so good.
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Date: 11/6/2012 2:48:00 PM
I recently posted a series of poems here, which go together to form a short story. Within it I used different kinds of poetry, free verse to represent the "real life" parts of the story, and various different forms to describe the various visions my lead character has. I found that using the different poetic forms in this way helped to show the different points of view within the story. I have written other short stories, but none hat I would call poems. If anything, I found that the structure of the poem really helped me to keep focused and not to digress from he main storyline.
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Joe Flach
Date: 11/6/2012 3:44:00 PM
Thanks for sharing, Sharon. I like the idea of mixing forms, especially as a character development tool. I may just have to steal that idea from you some time soon.
Date: 11/6/2012 2:19:00 PM
joe, I used to love story books. I read countless novels growing up. then the video age came to us, and I started watching more movies than ever. I got more involved with my job, with poetry, with Soup. So now I have no time for novels and not even for short stories. When I see an especially long poem , I feel like cringing. But usually I can tell right away reading it, if it is one I will really want to finish. That said, if I happen on your short story, I will give it a read. Time is just such a luxury these days. I think if it were not for this "new age" of DVR, internet, etc. I'd still be reading a few novels a year!!
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Andrea Dietrich
Date: 11/6/2012 11:13:00 PM
you are better than me, Joe. That's really cool what you did!!!
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Joe Flach
Date: 11/6/2012 3:42:00 PM
I hear you , Andrea - and I think it is a little bit sad that that is the direction our culture is going. I too, have found it difficult to dedicate time to a novel or, even, short stories - but when I force myself to sit down and read I am so happy that I did. To help motivate and pressure me into reading more books, I even started a Book Club in my area. We read one book a month and I find the pressure to be prepared for each meeting forces me to dig in and get it done. I am soooooo glad. We have been at it for 10 months now andI have read at least 8 terrific books I would not have otherwise picked up - 2, I could have missed without missing. ;-)
Date: 11/6/2012 12:04:00 PM
As most publishers are very strict on word count (2,000 - 3,000: depending on the age group and genre), it is always advisable to write a first draft to know how you will develop your plot. Personally I dislike stories where the end is rushed into a nutshell to accommodate the word count. A feature which I have noticed recently is the trend to not tie up all the loose ends, thereby leaving a lot unsaid - if it is not critical to the plot. Not like the old Agatha Christie novels which spelled it out in the finest detail... Poetry's more challenging in introducing the topic, developing the theme and concluding with a statement which (hopefully) will leave the reader with something to ponder. X
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Date: 11/6/2012 11:47:00 AM
Tatania sleeps on a bed of flowers, Oberon informs Puck: "I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,/Where oxlips and nodding violet grows,/Quite overcanopied with luscious woodbine,/With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine./There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,/Lulled in those flowers with dance and delight/..." The metaphors used and the form of the poem would not have had the same effect on the audience, if delivered in mere prose. My suggestion: Mix prose and poetic devices, provided it suits the theme. Yes, I have published short and full novels, as well as academic theses. I agree: Variety stimulates. I have often written a poem after reading a striking story. Good blog. Love, Su
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Suzette Richards
Date: 11/6/2012 11:56:00 AM
The sky is the limit, Joe. It it YOUR tale and it is like a dish - dish it up flair and do not hold back! I would love to read your stories.
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Joe Flach
Date: 11/6/2012 11:52:00 AM
Thanks, Su. Certainly Shakespear (whoever he was) had a gift for telling a story in rhyme like no other. I wonder if we will ever see the likes of him again? Some broadway musicals, I think, represent a modern day form of Shakespearian plays. But his plays have shown the ability to weather the test of time.
Date: 11/6/2012 11:27:00 AM
I am a published short story writer, Joe. And I love fiction. It allows me to stretch, so to speak. Now, that being said, fiction is forced, too. What's that, you say? What I mean is that fiction requires its own fine tuning. We've all read things that lack grit or are too slow paced. Perhaps, the dialogue stumbles along. There should be a balance between narrative and action. Sentence lengths should vary for good flow and reader interest. I always ask myself, did I develope my character in this scene? Did the plot move forward? Then, of course, there are genre considerations... enough red herrings, for example, in a mystery. Now, I also love poetry. It is a quick write. There is closure after its completion. There is a sense that I have created something that is often personal, a type of creative non-fiction. Fiction requires me to hold on to the characters, carry them around for as long as it takes to write the story (often over 3,000 words). I have to move the plot and characters forward. Right now, with the time I have, it is very hard for me to organize my fiction (sketches, plotline) I plan to finish Segments of Orange (soon!) a work in progress that I've been dragging my heels on due to research and questions. I want Orange to go back to school. Apparently, Vietnam vets really didn't pursue many careers after their service. And (d'oh!) I thought that vets in received some kind of education fund if they'd been injured in the line of duty. No??? I can use my imagination, it is fiction, but I always like to try to stay realistic, where I can. So, I am not quite sure how to write myself out of a corner... ooops...Wow. I am going on. Looking forward to reading your short story! Hugs, Cyndi, lol, the windbag...
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Cyndi MacMillan
Date: 11/6/2012 7:38:00 PM
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Joann Grisetti
Date: 11/6/2012 5:40:00 PM
Education after service - GI bil passed after WWII to help vets get a degree and a better job.
Richards Avatar
Suzette Richards
Date: 11/6/2012 11:54:00 AM
If one of my characters is "stuck", I turn to one of the other characters to voice his/her opinion of a situation.... It is like thinking out loud (much like a real life situation) and in no time the main character is back on track.... Just a device I have used myself. Love to read your stories. Are they posted online? Love, Su
Henderson Avatar
Charles Henderson
Date: 11/6/2012 11:52:00 AM
Cindy, all other things being equal, what is a good range of length for a short story to be. In order to get a good scenario across, satisfy the reader, and yet not be at all intrusive timewise as is sometimes a long novel. In the same vein, are the acceptable lengths variable for different age groups, not including school age up to k-12.
Flach Avatar
Joe Flach
Date: 11/6/2012 11:48:00 AM
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Cyndi. I love your perspective and thought process. Good luck with Segments of Orange and your other writings. You have inspired me to try more things with my writing.

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