Guest post by Stevie Carpenter
Blogs and short stories might at first not seem like recognisable bed fellows. Blogs usually tackle real world topics, written by and flavoured with the opinion of their author. Short stories on the other hand are works of fiction born completely from the mind of their creator.
Upon reflection, however, these two publishing disciplines share much more in common than you might imagine.
The clue is in the title: the author of a short story must find scope to commit their narrative within a limited word count. And, by the same token, the best blogs are concise in their execution, being able to express their ideas quickly by getting to the point.
Therefore the author for both a short story and a blog must possess efficiency and brevity within their expressive arsenal, to be successful in either publishing form.
Authors, by nature, are very protective of the prose they have created. Within the novel and the article, which are viewed by many as the more illustrious cousins of short stories and blogs, there is room for elaboration and dalliances from the author.
However, the author of blogs and short stories can’t afford either of the above indulgencies and has to be totally merciless in the elimination of content. In a blog or short story there is room for nothing that doesn’t directly contribute to the greater whole.
Engage, Compel and Go Out With a Bang
The introduction, although key to every form of writing, is arguably even more crucial in a successful short story or blog, as readers expect both to quickly get to the point.
In a short story and blog alike, the introduction must instantly engage and give the reader an inkling of what’s to come to act as a shop window for the content to follow.
The body of the text forms the meat of either a short story or blog and is where the author must make sure they engage with the reader, making good on promises made within the introduction.
The ending is key in drawing each element together; whether it has been a success or not defines the quality of the impression left with the reader.
If these three components – engage, compel and go out with a bang – are unsuccessful at any stage, readers will not read on to the next section and the short story or blog will be a failure.
There are of course differences, and perhaps the most striking of them is the emotional response that each aim to illicit. Blogs, if written well, encourage a level of interactivity that other writing resources just can’t – where comments sections are available for readers to dispense with feedback, should they choose.
Short stories, if successful, will provide food for thought, through characters or themes that resonate with the reader. However, there is no system available for readers to reflect and discuss upon what they have read, and connect with the author.
What do you think? Do you agree that there is little difference between short stories and blogs, or is there an integral difference to each that has been overlooked? Share in the comments below.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Stevie Carpenter explores how well his skills as a blogger will hold him in good stead for a proposed move into writing short stories, by exploring just how different the two really are. He writes for GKBC.