What is the purpose of short stories?

I’m off to the Cascade Writers workshop this weekend, where I’ll be an instructor. One of the things I’ll be doing is giving a talk on “The Purpose and Practice of Short Stories.” I have a few ideas, but I thought I’d ask you as well: what do you think is the purpose — or, indeed, the point — of writing short stories these days?

One Response

  1. Alan

    For the writer, I think short stories are good practice, but they do offer value in their own right in being able to encapsulate concise ideas neatly. Silly Asses by Isaac Asimov is a classic example of that. It really doesn’t need to be a novel to make the point. Short stories are also easier to turn into films without tossing major elements. Most novels really need to be turned into tv series, not movies, if they’re to be filmed.