I am an author. I was able to tell myself this the second my book touched the library available on Amazon. I had done it. I had written, edited, and revised my story. It was critiqued; I gave it a cover. I did all those things needed to do to be an author. I had spent hours of my time. The book sat for months after it was written before I even thought to do anything with it.
The problem? My book is about 30 pages long.
I have been the victim of many a criticism and have heard many a joke on how short story writers are not real authors. “Don’t give this ‘author’ your money,” a person in one of my groups said about another author’s short story, “it’s only about twenty pages. They probably wrote it in less than six hours.”
First off, since when did the amount of time it took an author to write something dictate the quality of the writing? And since when did we become high school students, vying for that extra page that would give us a passing grade in English class?
Who would tell Richard Connell that “The Most Dangerous Game” would be better written as a novel? What kind of person would look Susan Glaspell in the eye and tell her that “A Jury of Her Peers” was a mere trifle of a book?
Nobody questions the quality of “The Cask of Amontillado,” written by the well-known Edgar Allen Poe. So why today do we look at authors of short pieces of prose and tell them that their words are worthless and should not be sold?
It is time that the short story writers of the world stepped up to tell everyone that we are authors too. Don’t short change us because we can get the point across in less than a hundred pages. Creative writing is a delicate subject, and many a writer goes through enough just trying to come up with an idea, let alone craft it into a magnificent story. It is our job as fellow writers to offer encouragement, not belittlement.
The process of writing is nearly the same for every artist of literature. Brainstorming, writing, procrastinating… Editing, revising… Trying not to cry when a friend rips apart our favorite passage… It happens to all of us.
These things hurt. It makes short story writers wish that we weren’t drawn to mold prose into written architecture. It does more than that, though. It tells our readers that our work is less for being smaller. As an author, you should know that words are powerful. Are you contributing to the lights in our eyes or to the dark shadows that haunt our dreams?
About Alexandria Younk
Alexandria Younk is a full time author and writer of both fiction and nonfiction. She has wanted to write since she was in elementary school and is very excited to have published her first book, An Addictive Personality, in the August of 2014. She has two more works in progress and hopes that her writing will be a benefit to the lives of her readers now and in the future.