Short stories are a fantastic way to get reading without investing huge amounts of time in a novel. We’ve all started a book, got busy and then picked it up only to have forgotten what we have read and have to go back a chapter just to get caught up. If you don’t have time to read every day this is a common problem.
With a short story you can usually get from start to finish in one sitting. In fact, that is basically the definition of a short story.
You can expect all kinds of stories, plots and characters. The common theme with short fiction is just that – short. It crosses every genre so whether you want action and adventure, science fiction or something to make you think differently about the word, it will be available as short fiction.
Short stories have been mainstream popular from the late 18th century but picked up in the 19th century as distribution of the written word grew through newspapers, magazines and books. Many famous authors of well known novels have written short stories when starting out as a way to get published and get their name out there. Others write them for the enjoyment between their big novels. Charles Dickens even wrote short stories.
Fairy tales are also considered to be short stories. The Brothers Grimm (early 19th century) are especially well known and their stories are read by children to this day.
As already mentioned, the rise of newspapers and magazines supported growth of the short story. In the late 19th century Arthur Conan Doyle wrote short stories about his famous character, Sherlock Holmes. These were published in magazines of the day and brought notoriety to the author and, of course, the character. The success of the Sherlock Holmes is still obvious today in the form of film and television.
Around the same time that Sherlock Holmes was becoming famous, H. G. Wells was writing his short science fiction stories and building his own fan base. Wowing audiences with stories of space and the future.
More recently big name authors like Stephen King and Roald Dahl and have written many short stories.
Today, the internet allows anyone to publish anything: you'll be familiar with 'posts' on facebook and the like. And there is no shortage of short stories ... but you need to know where to find them! Choosing from the collection here at obooko is one of the easier ways to get into the literary world. Even if you have never read a book before, make it a resolution this year to download a free short story and see how it goes. Then try a novelette before starting your first novel.
Another interesting area that has become popular with the Internet is fan fiction. This is where fans of more famous novels and characters write their own short stories online using the characters and settings in new ways.
At obooko we have free short stories available to download. Get yourself a collection and sink into a new story every day. There are many genres to choose from and why not try something new – you don’t have to invest as much time as a full length novel.