I just realized I’ve been composing my short stories all wrong. Firstly, they drag–not enough action. Secondly, there’s not enough suspense. And thirdly, they’re just way too long.
Here’s what I’m talking about. Read this short story from When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops by George Carlin and see if you don’t agree. I think he’s got it down.
The Velvet Hat … by George Carlin
“She wore a velvet hat. She walked down the steps slowly, as if each one were a significant achievement. Her arm, bent severely at the elbow, pinned her purse close to her side. The surface of the last few steps was cracked and uneven, and so she extended her tiny arm to grip the railing. At that moment a man ran up and jammed an entire box of peppermints into her mouth.”
What do you think? Is that some good writing, or what? Very clear and concise. Suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat. And an unexpected ending. What a story!
Good night, Mrs. Jackson, wherever you are.