A short story…can be held in the mind all in one piece. It’s less like a building than a fiendish device. Every bit of it must be cunningly made and crafted to fit together perfectly and without waste so that it can perform its task with absolute precision…The ideal short story is like a knife – strongly made, well balanced and with an absolute minimum of moving parts.
It’s possible in a poem or short story, to write about commonplace things and objects using commonplace but precise language, and to endow these things – a chair, a window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman’s earring – with immense, even startling power.
A good short story crosses the borders of our nations and our prejudices and our beliefs. A good short story asks a question that can’t be answered in simple terms. And even if we come up with some understanding, years later, while glancing out of a window, the story still has the potential to return, to alter right there in our mind and change everything.
Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, painting, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.