n this recording, made at Vermont College, I begin with a video of Kurt Vonnegut, talking about the structure of a short story. The quality of the recording at this point makes listening difficult, but persevere—it's a delightful, funny, and informative few minutes! For the rest of the lecture, I read a short of my own, interrupting it periodically with observations on this challenging form, and on what’s not there, including our old friends from the novel, backstory, rising action and resolution.
Suggested reading: Ron Carlson’s Ron Carlson Writes a Story; Rust Hills’ Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular; Robert Olen Butler’s From Where You Dream; and Louis Menand’s 2003 article in the The New Yorker, “True Story, the Virtuosity of John Updike,” available here: http://tinyurl.com/d54b3hq.
Ron Carlson W