Friday, 3 July 2009


What does the word "story" mean to you?

"A story is something which wobbles reality, affects a change in the reader, shakes things enough that we see anew. I do not much care for the American style 'condensed novel' sometimes called a short-story. Shortness (under 10K) is not my definition of a short story. A short-story should, I think, have poetic elements and should think of itself as an extended poem, not necessarily poetically languaged but trying to unseat the reader, with a single insight, a beautiful phrase or the perfectly placed punctuation mark."

Alex Keegan, author of Ballistics, interviewed in July's Short Review.


BarbaraS said...

I love that first line, how totally apt that word is - wobbles.

And I forgot to say how beautiful your Nude cover is. It's very clean and crisp looking - suits the title! Now, can't wait to read it and sample its wares! Lemme at it!


Hey B
Alex's stories are VG - always interesting and memorable and v well written. And he's v knowledgeable on the short story.

Yes, I LOVE the cover - I'm so happy with it. THere just had to be a nude on the cover but it also had to be tasteful. I think that has been achieved!
N x

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog: appreciate it.
The short story has been due a major renaissance - it's satisfying to see it happening.

And the cover of your book is "so brave and so free", (as Cohen sings in Tonight Will Be Fine); really lovely.

Liz said...

Yes, like this quote too...very the 'wobbly' implication and the 'unseating' and the poetic punch. ; )

Michael Farry said...

"the perfectly placed punctuation mark" is a wonderful phrase and a challenge to all writers. How many times do we remove and at a later revision replace a punctuation mark


Rachel - sometimes because I'm in the thick of that renaissance, I believe the s/story is SO strong. Then I think about ordinary readers who just seem to runa mile from the story and I think, 'Hang on, we're just a select few story nuts. We need to force feed it to the masses!'

Liz - I like that 'unseating' too. I love when a story has a delicious surprise, much like a good poem.

Michael - it's so true!! I fiddle with punctuation endlessly and usually end up back where I was to begin with!