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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / TV, Movies & More  / Short Story Mysteries  /

Long vs. Short Mystery Stories
Do you prefer mystery short stories or full-length novels?
Who do you think is a great short story writer?

Add to the discussion below.

Previous MessagesEarliest MessagesOutlineRecent Messages (10 previous messages)
Ellen Canavan - 06:59am Oct 14, 1999 PST(#11 of 19)

I like to read novels, there is a longer period of enjoyment; I'm writing short stories, there is a shorter period of work.

Diva - 05:07pm Oct 26, 1999 PST(#12 of 19)
look famous, be legendary, appear complex, act easy, radiate presence, travel light, seem a dream, prove real

Hugh - I don't know if takes more talent, but it is certainly a different talent. A lot of writers of shorts stories are not able to write longer ones, and vice versa.

If you write the short form, you have to be able to make deft character sketches, and to get to the crux of the mystery very quickly.

If you write longer ones you have to be able to make it complex enough to hold the readers interest, but not waffle on.

I enjoy both forms, but there don't seem to be many writers who excel at both. Of course there are exceptions, not just in the mystery genre but across fiction. Lindsay Davis is one writer I particularly like in both forms, as is Charles De Lint (he writes urban fantasy stories).

Elizabeth DeKam - 08:03pm Nov 18, 1999 PST(#13 of 19)

About the short stories, they are a bit easier to write. They take considerably less time. But I would have to say that I like long stories the best. They have more to read and more suspense. Reading is not only what I love to do, but also what I'm best at!

Diva - 06:12pm Nov 28, 1999 PST(#14 of 19)
look famous, be legendary, appear complex, act easy, radiate presence, travel light, seem a dream, prove real

oh, I forgot before - Jeffery Archer is one writer who excels at both forms. His collections of short stories are fantastic - try them if you haven't read them. A Quiver Full of Arrows, A Twist in the Tale, and Twelve Red Herrings. They are some of the best short stories I have ever read. Many of them are mysteries, all of them are great tales.

Runcible - 11:07am Mar 22, 2000 PST(#15 of 19)
"Semantics? - You dont know the meaning of the word!"

Im a great devotee of the short story. There is no room for extensive character or plot development so it is pointless to look for this. This is however the perfect vehicle for presenting an intriguing puzzle and its solution. The "locked room" or "impossible crime" are my favorites. John Dickson Carr (and his various pseudonyms) is master at these.

Incidentally, Isaac Asimov (yes the SF writer) wrote a few intriguing little short detective mysteries often overlooked by mystery fans (probably because these books are wrongly classified as SF by bookshops). "Asimov's Mysteries" is a worthwhile anthology of these.

Sorry I cannot agree with the comments on Jeffrey Archer. I find that most of his short stories are plagiarised from other writers - and not as well told. His novels strike me as superficial and cliched. He is also a particularly unpleasant man so I suppose that may influence my opinion a bit.

Hugh Drummond - 03:27am May 3, 2000 PST(#16 of 19)
" I have a criminal mind... I see bad in everyone," (Mr. J.G. Reeder)

Which is allowed, just so long as you're not on the jury. I have to say, I don't like the chap much either, and often find myself trying to supress an inexplicable urge to push his face in.


Andrew Hart - 03:01pm Aug 11, 2000 PST(#17 of 19)

I think the best Mysteries are short ones because long ones are really hard because you have to REMEMBER every clue and every word and you can get them all shortened up in short Mysteries and remember a couple at a time then carry on with a new couple when remembering the couple before the couple you have in mind then move on. Simple ones are MUCH better

GEALD MILLER - 06:02am Nov 4, 2000 PST(#18 of 19)

I agree with Andrew,because short stories are the best.They might not have a lot of characters,but they are logic,give good clues and most are very challenging.One thing I don't like about novels are that at the end they give you the answer at the end,but must confees novels are most intruiging,but they are just not as good as SHORT STORIES!

Mark Boston - 04:15am Nov 5, 2000 PST(#19 of 19)

I agree short mysteries are better. Each month, I read the shortest story first in the Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, starting with the winner of the Mysterious Picture writing contest (and this is an excellent contest because you don't have to pay any entry or 'reading' fees). Most of us have busy lives these days and there often isn't a lot of time to read, so short stories fit in better. On the other hand, if a book is truly excellent, it can be fun to carry it around for a month or so, reading a bit here, a bit there, a time permits.

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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / TV, Movies & More  / Short Story Mysteries  / Long vs. Short Mystery Stories

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