After reading Debra H. Goldstein's post earlier this week about the Sisters in Crime "We Love Short Stories" Initiative, Peter DiChellis was inspired to contribute the below post. He also caused a bit of a nasty flashback for me regarding High School English class each year.
Guest Post: Five Reasons To Love Reading Short Mystery Stories by Peter DiChellis
I’m a dedicated mystery reader who cringes at the term “short story” because it prompts memories of slouching in a high school classroom, gazing out the window, waiting for a bell to signal escape. We weren’t allowed merely to read short stories. We had to study them! Teen torture. (Okay, you caught me. My high school years were hardly my most ambitious.)
Despite those ancient scars, I love reading short mystery stories. Here’s why:
1. It’s like going on a treasure hunt. When I open a mystery anthology or magazine, or click through a top-notch ezine, I always discover new authors, new stories from favorite authors, new characters, and new writing styles. I can never predict what gems I’ll find on these adventures. I love the surprise.
2. Short mysteries gimme a break! Like most mystery readers, I enjoy novels. Short mysteries provide a perfect, quickie break after finishing a long or intricate book. I’ll plunge into another 400-page commitment soon enough. Gimme a short break first!
3. I love taking lots of quick, tasty bites. Reading short mysteries reminds me of attending a food fair with booth after booth offering tasty samples. I can try a variety of unique flavors, one after another, one bite at a time.
4. Short mystery stories pack remarkable creative punch. Good mysteries require first-rate plotting. Good shorts require airtight writing. Tough to do both at once. I love seeing it happen.
5. Short mysteries deliver wall-to-wall wow. Creative punch isn’t simply what writers put into a story; it’s also what they cut out. Shorts, to channel Elmore Leonard, leave out the parts people skip. Pure story, no filler. Wall-to-wall wow.
If you share my love of short mystery stories, please spread the word! But if you’re still not convinced, try this: Next time you’re in the library, check out a mystery anthology or magazine. (If you can’t wait until then, click through one of these online ezines right now.)
Here’s my guarantee: Trying a few short mysteries through the library or internet won’t cost you a dime. You’ll enjoy a diverse and entertaining reading break. You’ll find at least one story that absolutely wows you and discover at least one author whose work you’ll want to explore further. And you might even fall in love with short mystery stories. Is that a sweet deal or what?
Peter DiChellis ©2016
Peter DiChellis concocts sinister and sometimes comedic tales for anthologies, ezines, and magazines. Peter is a member of the Short Mystery Fiction Society and an Active (published author) member of the Mystery Writers of America, Private Eye Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. For more, visit his site Murder and Fries at http://murderandfries.wordpress.com/