“I’ll give you the whole secret to short story writing.
Here it is.
Rule 1: Write stories that please yourself.
There is no Rule 2.” O. Henry
I don’t know who was your ‘teen-hero’, but mine was O. Henry. I have completely forgotten about the greatest master of the short story, but Mexi Movie The Third kicked my mind in the right direction (my sleepy, lazy, some way atrophied or blank brains) by the post “BOOKLIST” – check here
Its a freaking scary thing, that Booklist, but I see my O. Henry is added there now!
Mexi Movie blogger told me she don’t know much about O. Henry, so here I am, with the post about the master of a short storytelling!
Usually it is 4-7 pages length funny stories with the anecdotal plot and the surprise-ending (often the surprise in the last paragraph only!). The best about his stories:
2. tricky and glittering (style)
3. the moral at the end
4. about real people
(usually small clerks in New York or aspiring actors/artists. By the way he called New York -> ‘Bagdad-on-the-Subway’. Back then I didn’t know what New York is or how does it looks like)
I’ve read that he was a really witty guy to be around and that he’ve chosen his pen name because of the joke when he was in the prison, Ohio State. But some people claims that O.Henry was the name of a candy bar he liked. Also there’s a version that it came from the name of a girlfriends cat.
Even on the dying bed he tried to joke: “Don’t turn down the light!” – he said….and then suddenly added the words from the popular song “I’m afraid to go home in the dark”.
Now you gonna ask me:
Question 1 – How could you get your hands on his books in USSR?
Question 2 – Why did you like them if you didn’t know anything about New York or USA?
My mum was a member of The Book Club (she’ve got a membership from her job). Hilarious thing: my mum never reads. I mean it! I never seen her reading in my entire life. My aunt (her sister) told me she never seen my mum reading either. LOL
But because she was the member of THE BOOK CLUB – we had a small library at home.
Answer 2: I liked O. Henry because the stories were really funny and it was impossible to predict the end! New York or Orleans or Ohio – of course were just the words for me. But because his stories usually described a “simple/small people”, you could always imagine any city, place or person close to you…
“All of life, as we know it, moves in little, unavailing circles. More justly than to anything else, it can be likened to the game of baseball. Crack! We hit the ball, and away we go. If we earn a run (in life we call it success) we get back to the home plate and sit upon a bench. If we are thrown out, we walk back to the home plate – and sit upon a bench.”
“If men knew how women pass the time when they are alone, they’d never marry.” O.Henry
Next post on Saturday – The most funny moments “Conversations with my mum” ( a real conversations from the last month).