Short short stories

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Jonglin
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Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:55 am Post

I just like short direct sentences - but one man's goose is another man's gander - with or without sauce - so let's enjoy the wonderful mishmash of so many different ways of writing. I once read an awfully long sentence, with so many subordinate clauses, that ended with the world onions, repeated four times - and it all made perfect sense! I think it appears in The End of the World News, by Anthony Burgess. Can anyone confirm this? I am getting forgetful and a little muddle headed as I approach my hundreth birthday - only twenty years to go! It's fun reading your comments. Cheers all!

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vic-k
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Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:16 pm Post

Evening, young fella,
Jonglin wrote:I just like short direct sentences - but one man's goose is another man's gander - with or without sauce -
With! Definitely with. Risqué is good!! Go for it.
Jonglin wrote:I just like short direct sentences
Which you use to good effect in, Love at First Sight. But, young fella, isn't that, effect, enhanced by your use of other sentences of varying lengths? That, I think, is the essence of our kicking around the short vs long topic.

Don't get me wrong, a well crafted short sentence, can have a far greater impact than a paragraph of other stuff.
When I questioned the wisdom of my wife's devotion to the Goddess of Female Retail Therapy, and the prostrating of herself before that Goddess' sacrificial alter, in the John Lewis Temple of Mammon, she gave me a look off such excoriating and eviscerating intensity, whilst informing me, "Ego emere, ergo sum."
"Y'wot?
"I shop, therefore I am."

Whether you sentences are three/four words long, or eight hundred thousand, three hundred and thirty seven, make sure you are enjoying! what you're doing.
Ádh mór, Jon
Take care
vic
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matsgz
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Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:51 pm Post

vic-k wrote:Approaching the debate from a simple, common sense perspective ... don't we all communicate with short/intermediate/long sentences? Why then, would we not wish to spin our tales in the same fashion.
The audio excerpt makes the point splendidly: http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/G ... 1476787589 me thinks :wink:
It does, indeed. Didn't listen to it at first, was afraid some poor voice artist had been forced to make sense of Papa's 400+ meandering stream of un-consiousness. Suppose that the two examples, back-to-back proves that no-one is perfect, not even Hem.

When he is not perfect, that is. :D
Scribo ergo sum

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MrGruff
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Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:30 pm Post

@Jonglin:

The writer you were recalling is Robert Graves. That story – set in Wales rather than Ireland – is Week-end at Cwm Tatws which is in his collection The Shout and other stories.

(And as an aside, Cwm Tatws, although perhaps sounding suitably welsh to the non-welsh speaker, can be roughly translated as Potato Valley. Google translate turns out 'Valley potato', because it doesn't seem to understand english word order around nouns is not the same as welsh.)

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Hugh
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Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:39 am Post

Jonglin wrote:I just like short direct sentences - but one man's goose is another man's gander - with or without sauce - so let's enjoy the wonderful mishmash of so many different ways of writing. I once read an awfully long sentence, with so many subordinate clauses, that ended with the world onions, repeated four times - and it all made perfect sense! I think it appears in The End of the World News, by Anthony Burgess.


The late British journalist Bernard Levin was as famous in the UK in his lifetime as, say, Walter Cronkite was in the US in his. But unlike Cronkite, Levin was primarily a newspaper journalist. And he was well-known for his long sentences, thinking nothing of adding up to forty subordinate clauses. He claimed: "Many a native of these islands, speaking English as to the manner born, has followed me trustingly into the labyrinth only to perish miserably trying to find the way out".

Forty subordinate clauses were not however the summit of his achievements. This is from a 2004 obituary: "At one time he was in the Guinness Book of Records - with pride, he said - for 'the longest sentence ever to appear in a newspaper. One thousand six hundred and sixty-seven words. Then some bugger in India wrote a sentence very considerably longer'."

(He was also a contrarian. I once saw him him felled by a punch, live on a fondly-remembered Saturday-night David Frost show called "That Was The Week That Was", because, it was said, he'd given the actress-wife of his assailant a poor theatre review.)
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pigfender
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Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:04 pm Post

I did once* consider writing a book of ultra short (poem-length) stories in normal prose. I was going to call it 'A Collection of Modern Terse'. I didn't, because I liked the title a lot more than I liked the idea of a book of ultra short (poem length) stories in normal prose.

* a long time ago... Teenage years.

Anyway, if it's very short stories your after, here's one (I didn't write) that clocks in just under 360 words:

Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince wrote:Now this is a story all about how
My life got flipped-turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute
Just sit right there
I'll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-Air

In west Philadelphia born and raised
On the playground was where I spent most of my days
Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool
And all shooting some b-ball outside of the school
When a couple of guys who were up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighborhood
I got in one little fight and my mom got scared
She said, "You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air."

I begged and pleaded with her day after day
But she packed my suitcase and sent me on my way
She gave me a kiss and then she gave me my ticket.
I put my Walkman on and said, "I might as well kick it."

First class, yo, this is bad
Drinking orange juice out of a champagne glass.
Is this what the people of Bel-Air living like?
Hmm, this might be alright.

But wait I hear they're prissy, bourgeois, all that
Is this the type of place that they just send this cool cat?
I don't think so
I'll see when I get there
I hope they're prepared for the prince of Bel-Air

Well, the plane landed and when I came out
There was a dude who looked like a cop standing there with my name out
I ain't trying to get arrested yet
I just got here
I sprang with the quickness like lightning, disappeared

I whistled for a cab and when it came near
The license plate said "Fresh" and it had dice in the mirror
If anything I could say that this cab was rare
But I thought, "Nah, forget it."
– "Yo, home to Bel-Air."

I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8
And I yelled to the cabbie, "Yo home smell ya later."
I looked at my kingdom
I was finally there
To sit on my throne as the Prince of Bel-Air


And for no particular reason, here's an analysis of the song against Blake Snyder's "Save the Cat" story structure, just to prove that it really is a story! :D
"Some dice only have sixes." nom, 19 Oct 2013
"Piggy, I'm beginning to wonder if you are the best person to take advice from." Jaysen, 26 Sept 2014

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http://www.pigfender.com | http://www.novelinaday.com

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Briar Kit
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Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:37 am Post

If anyone fancies a little slice of Brit life, here's a short story that will wile away 10 minutes...

https://briarkitesme.com/2016/10/20/the ... -the-tray/

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