I Like Short Shorts

Does anyone remember those old Nair commercials with the women in Daisy Duke shorts dancing and singing “We wear short shorts / If you dare wear short shorts / Nair for short shorts?”  (If you don’t remember the commercial and you don’t know who Daisy Duke is, I’m afraid that means I’m much older than you.  Please bear with me.  You can also click here to view the commercial.)

I always thought I liked longer shorts, but over the last couple months, I’ve come to a startling realization:  I do dare to like short shorts.

No, I’m not talking about the clothing article that bares the entire thigh—sometimes  more (trust me, no one wants to see me wear that :))  I’m referring to short, short stories (under 4000 words.)Kharma’s Way is special to me because not only is it the first short story I’ve written, it may also be the only serial story I’ll write (it topped 15,000 words).  It was fun to do, but the development of it was involved, making sure all of the scenes flowed together.  It was almost like writing a novel, only shorter.  In fact, I spent so much time on this story, that my second novel had gathered a thick layer of dust.

I’ve written five shorter short stories in the last few months and I’ve found that they are so much easier to write because the story timelines are much tighter and I don’t have as many loose ends to tie up before the story ends.  Some of them are almost like scenes.  This is great for the times when I have a short attention span (which, sadly, is most of the time.)

I also like reading short, short stories because I like instant gratification – I want to know the conflict and resolution NOW.  I don’t want to have to wait several weeks to discover how the story ends.  This is the opinion of a person who has stayed up until two in the morning to finish a novel and gotten up at five o’clock to go to work.  Not very smart, I know, but I was hooked; I couldn’t sleep until I knew how it ended.  If only I could have stayed awake to remember it.

Tell me, do you like Daisy Dukes (short short stories)…. 

or Bermudas (longer/serial short stories)?

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34 thoughts on “I Like Short Shorts

  1. Brown Eyed Mystic November 18, 2010 / 2:52 PM

    Haha, Janna, I loved the analogy you drew out. It was totally unexpected.

    Yes, short stories are indeed pretty gratifying. Especially for competitions, where you submit yours and wait for the results. It’s all exciting. 🙂

    Loved the post! I like short shorts too–from both the perspectives. 😉

    -BrownEyed

    P.S. I hadn’t seen the commercial, but thank you for the link; I saw it before reading the post. 😉

    • jannatwrites November 18, 2010 / 8:26 PM

      Thanks, BrownEyed! I was in a strange mood last night when I wrote this and scheduled the post. I skimmed through it tonight and I’m shaking my head 🙂

      You are always so kind – ‘unexpected’ is such a nice way to say ‘strange, not right and borderline crazy’

      P.S. I like short short stories and looooong shorts to wear (my gift to the world).

  2. Maimoona Rahman November 18, 2010 / 4:00 PM

    Not short shorts so much, but short stories are fun. When I joined university and realised that leaving a novel unfinished to rush to class or write a report hurts, I bought a a collection of Guy De Maupassant’s short stories to read between classes and on commute. They are easier to write and edit as well. If only they were that easy to sell :/

    • jannatwrites November 18, 2010 / 8:29 PM

      I hear you – it would be nice if short stories were easy to sell. I guess that would make them too…perfect? At least they satisfy your reading needs for short spells.

  3. nrhatch November 18, 2010 / 10:09 PM

    I remember the Nair commercials (so I’m old), but I still wear short shorts. Not Daisy Duke shorts short ~ that would be gross ~ Nike running shorts short.

    And reading this makes me feel like I shall have to finish reading Kharma’s Way. But I don’t think I will start any more serial novels, novelettes, etc.

    I want to read at my pace, and be able to CHOOSE to turn the page rather than having to wait a week to get the next installment.

    • jannatwrites November 18, 2010 / 10:30 PM

      I guess after a certain age too-short shorts go from tasteless to ‘gross’ (LOL)

      I agree with your take on the serials. For me, it’s difficult to follow a complex story over such a long period of time. I feel like I forget important details and stay in a fog. By the way, the last segment of Kharma’s Way will be posted on 11/27…but I don’t want you to feel like you HAVE to read it. Reading is optional 🙂

    • nrhatch November 18, 2010 / 10:36 PM

      I will probably wait until 11/27 and read the last 3 chapters in one fell swoop . . . followed by a WHOOT! WHOOT! 🙂

      • jannatwrites November 19, 2010 / 4:10 PM

        Sounds like you’ve got a plan. On the other stories, I’ve been skipping weeks and reading chunks at a time.

  4. Bill Greeves November 19, 2010 / 6:30 AM

    I have zero experience writing short stories, unless you count required college coursework, but that was many moons ago. I rarely read contemporary short stories, but the best ones I can think of were collections, ala Stephen King’s Skeleton Crew or Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles. I do enjoy some particular short stories from earlier American authors such as Poe, Bierce and Chopin. I also know I need to practice those short story skills, because as Brown-Eyed Mystic mentions, they can lead to better exposure for your writing as contest entries. Maybe when I get my fiction book sold and my non-fiction book finished, I’ll give it a whirl!

    • jannatwrites November 19, 2010 / 4:13 PM

      I wrote my first short story earlier this year, after I wrote my first novel. No need to force writing one because when you come up with the right subject, I think you’ll be able to just sit down and write it. Until then, it sounds like you have enough projects going to keep you busy!

  5. Artswebshow November 19, 2010 / 5:43 PM

    lol.
    This is a very entertaining post.
    I agree, short stories are always better.

    • jannatwrites November 19, 2010 / 11:04 PM

      Glad you enjoyed this post, but it doesn’t top your web shows 🙂

  6. Cities of the Mind November 20, 2010 / 1:04 AM

    Hell, I’m a fan of Daisy Duke, Daisy Dukes, and short stories. I am new to the Nair jingle, however. I find a lot of storylines lend themselves to longer forms, but so many ideas can really be grabbed by a few paragraphs. . . so yeah, I’m totally weaseling my way out of answering that I guess.

    • jannatwrites November 20, 2010 / 9:38 PM

      Are you in politics?

      Kidding 🙂 I liked the way you gave an opinion without firmly giving one, though! From what you wrote, I gather you like it all – depending on the idea.

  7. T.A. Olivia (aka) Darksculptures November 20, 2010 / 6:34 PM

    Well, if I had to pick based on the pictures above I’d have to say I like long shorts. In fact I like them A LOT! But I think you are talking about writing. In that case, yes to Short Shorts!

    Flash fiction is not only fun to write, but I think it is fun to read. Especially today when we are bombarded with so many activities in the small 24 hours that span from sun to sun.

    BTW – I remember the jingle well. In fact, so well I can’t get it out of my head now that you have brought it back from the mind’s storage closet.

    • jannatwrites November 20, 2010 / 9:40 PM

      I agree on the pictures…it was REALLY hard to find a ‘PG’ picture of a guy in short shorts, though.

      I’m sorry to bring that jingle back into your head….please don’t hate me for it 🙂

  8. Tim Weaver November 20, 2010 / 9:34 PM

    Well, I ascribe to the Ron White School of Visuals, so short-shorts, as defined by the mass media, are just fine. Maybe I’ll wear a set of Dukes to class on Tuesday. 🙂

    I haven’t done anything “novel” length yet and, so far far, find the short-story an interesting venue. The problem is that I have sorta run out of ideas. At least with the longer story (which you know, Janna), I have a chance to turn it into a novel-length tome.

    It really sucks to be able to write well, but lack the imagination to come up with stories worthy of, well, putting into a story.

    • jannatwrites November 20, 2010 / 9:44 PM

      If you wear the Dukes, then you have to wear heels because they make your legs look longer.

      A novel idea certainly does have to be stronger than a short story idea because there are often several stories within the story to carry through. It could be a fun exercise to turn your short story into a novel. Are you going to try it?

      • Tim Weaver November 21, 2010 / 8:35 AM

        I don’t do heels anymore…aggravates my plantar fasciitis. I can go a 2″ pump, but that’s about it. However, they’re all black and my Dukes are blue. I am very much a shoes-match-the-outfit guy, you know, and that doesn’t match, no matter what they say about ‘black goes with everything’.

        As for the story…I’d like to, but all I’d really be doing would be expanding the story from the 38 double-spaced pages to whatever I end up with…essentially telling just a longer, more detailed version of the tale. The story-in-the-story (e.g. multiple story lines) are what get me. I don’t really care about the meta-story, as David calls it.

        Maybe I’ll just stick with report writing. 🙂

        • jannatwrites November 21, 2010 / 3:38 PM

          It sounds like you know what you like (when it comes to pumps and stories), so you should stick with that. You could keep racking up the short stories and then publish a compilation if the novel isn’t your thing. Just an idea.

          You could get even more attention if you invest in a new pair of pumps before the publicity tour.

      • Tim Weaver November 21, 2010 / 5:13 PM

        Thing is…I’m sorta out of short-stories, too. It’s like I had some out-of-body experience that implanted 2 original ideas in my head, and that’s it. I have the general idea for a longer story/novel but a) it’s not unique, really and b) I’ve yet to come up with any story-in-story subthreads.

        I’ll wait on the new pumps.

        • jannatwrites November 21, 2010 / 7:38 PM

          Aw, come on. I’m sure you have more than 2 ideas in you – just give it time. Have a pen and paper ready to take note when inspiration finds you 🙂

  9. milkfever November 21, 2010 / 4:50 PM

    Going on the pictures, I’m a fan of long shorts. Whoa. That was a nice shot!

    • jannatwrites November 21, 2010 / 7:35 PM

      Hehehe. The picture actually had five or six guys, but I had to cut it down because it would’ve been too distracting 🙂

  10. Barb November 23, 2010 / 10:58 AM

    I remember Daisy Duke (we did have the Dukes of Hazzard on Italian TV in the 1980s), but don’t know the commercial. But I get your point anyway! 😉
    Personally I prefer longer pieces because I tend to write prequels and sequels and next generations sagas or stuff like that. But then my novels are between 60 and 90k, I’ve never reached 100k and more… so I guess I’m for short novels or long novellas or whatever you want to call them! 😀
    Happy writing

    • jannatwrites November 24, 2010 / 1:51 PM

      I like that – I guess a short novel and a long novella would be about the same thing! Sounds like it works well for you, so I’d stick with what you’re doing!

  11. SAS Fiction Girl January 17, 2011 / 4:13 PM

    I’m late to the game on this post, but I like the Daisy Duke stories. They are my bread and butter at the moment. Not that I’m earning income from the stories, but they’re the only kind I have the attention span to write, hence the name of my blog. 🙂
    -Jen

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 7:44 PM

      Late arrivals are welcome 🙂 Short attention span is right up my alley. I’ll have to check it out now that I’ve gotten caught up on comment responses.

      • SAS Fiction Girl January 17, 2011 / 10:31 PM

        Janna, I would be happy to have you on Short Attention Span Fiction as a guest blogger. I imagine you’re kept busy with writing and family, so the invitation is an open one. If you write a Daisy Dukes story you’d like to share with my (few but loyal) readers, that would be terrific. 🙂 -Jen

        • jannatwrites January 18, 2011 / 5:09 PM

          Thank you so much for the invitation. I’d love to guest blog on SAS. What’s the word count range you normally go for on your short stories so I can keep that in mind?

  12. SAS Fiction Girl January 19, 2011 / 3:01 PM

    Terrific – thank you!
    My count usually ranges from 300 to 1800 words.
    The longest story I’ve posted so far was about 2700 words (“I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”)
    I have not experimented with anything over or under that, but you’re free to.
    🙂

    • jannatwrites January 19, 2011 / 3:38 PM

      Thanks for getting back to me, Jen. I saw your word count range on your ‘About’ page yesterday, but was too embarrased to mention it. I’ll send you an email when I’ve got something suitable so you can review and let me know if it will work or not. Thanks!

    • jannatwrites May 26, 2013 / 9:26 PM

      This is an old post….I’d forgotten about it 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed!

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