Monday, January 18, 2010

from Molly Gaudry

I'm with Barry on this one, actually: "Fuck flash fiction. Get it out of your head." Everything he says in that paragraph is gold. However, I'm intrigued by Matt's novella in shorts. Or collection of poems. Or, simply, book.

I believe in the short form, the very short form, if for no other reason than that it forces fiction writers to be as precise as poets; forces their stories to get right to the matter, to the point; to Dawn's bunnies. I also believe, however, that readers like longer narratives that allow them to follow characters, or story lines, for pages, not page.

The beauty of VSF is that the writer can show off her mastery of the language-driven form (for, as with poetry, VSF must be exact; each word must be the only word that will do); and the beauty of collecting them in some thematic or stylistic or narrative-arc-ish way is that the writer can show off her mastery of the plot- or character-driven forms, those that are usually in the domain of short stories or novels. In these domains, however, story writers and novelists tend to get awfully lazy; their sentences drag, bunch, sag, sog, droop and die. Don't be those guys. Don't be lazy.

To close, I prefer, sure, to read fewer words when possible but still want the satisfaction of a long story line. So it is to hybrids or genre benders or pastiches or whatever we want to call or not call them that I turn. I hope we see many more of these non-genre-specific works in the years to come. Poets and fiction writers unite. Books, we write. Books. And may the payoffs for reading such absolute-pitch or technical perfection be some aching, thudding, heart-startling profoundness, yes?

Bio: Molly Gaudry is the author of We Take Me Apart, a novella in verse. As a daily warmup, she rewrites others' words. If she were a musician, she would call this "practicing scales." She has no intention of publishing these VSFs, so she blogs them instead: "Velveteen," which was inspired by and written for Claudia Smith, "Morning," by/for Lily Hoang, and "Greet Me," by/for Cami Park.

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