(Bautista, Personal Photograph of Siquijor Island, 2012)
For me, storytelling is a quintessential art form.
And since childhood, I’ve always expressed stories through my art and poetry but I also have a deep affinity for the short story form.
As Abrams (1993) writes, “a short story is a brief work of prose fiction…[that] organizes the action, thought and interactions of its characters into the artful pattern of a plot…The plot form may be comic, tragic, romantic, or satiric; the story is presented to us from one of many available points of view; and it may be written in the mode of fantasy, realism and naturalism” (p.194-5).
Maupassant’s The Diamond Necklace, Tolstoy’s Master and Man, Leacock’s Sunshine Sketches, and Borges’ The Aleph — in general, short stories have had a profound effect on my creative writing style.
I believe short story authors have a writing gift. They create tapestries so rich in design in so limited an amount of space. As a student and even now, I furtively designate time to revel in the reading of numerous short stories. The form delights me because, unlike most prose literature, it presents reality coloured with fantastical striations and with the utmost economy.
The form of short stories encapsulates my (re)conceptualized theory of and concepts of identity, enriching my own understandings of what is(was) taking place around me. Postmodern visions and artful representations of my self-identity evoke the phenomena of fictional reality or an interpretation of what has happened in the past.
I create this post because I believe I am ready to share a recent creative writing piece that I challenged myself to complete in 2012. I entered a writing challenge in November 2012 via the National Novel Writing Month competition found at www.nanowrimo.org. I composed a 50 000 word novel in that month but in hindsight, I think it reads more like a collection of short stories.
At the time, I entitled the novel Estorya (the story of) similar to my doctoral thesis title of 2004. I don’t think the novel is actually separate from my dissertation because it is still a family story.
And so, a reconceptualized version of the novel designed as short stories will be placed here.
And now, here’s a preview.
The main arc of the novel is my interpretation of the story of my grandfather’s brother who chose to leave everything he owned and everyone he knew behind in order to live his life.
Not separate indeed.
Abrams, M.H. (1993). A Glossary of Literary Terms, Sixth Edition. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers. (Original work published 1957)