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The Fantasy Short Story

This is what I am mentally struggling with this week.

How to combine the fantastical in such a way that it doesn't take over the short story and gut it. In other words, can I really achieve the delicate balance that is Magical Realism.

I feel like, in longer works, I have time to do both well-- the fantastical and complex characters that share an equal measure in driving the narrative. What about the short story though? How can I keep those shocking elements from rolling into a plot that is silly and funny and pulls everything around those intriguing images like a ripple in a pond? I want the stone, the heavy lifter, to be the emotional core--which needs to be instantly understandable. Not the fantastical, which is instantly not--and demands an explanation.

Interesting, isn't it? I'm not sure I am going to hit it on the first try--I feel a tremendous sense of narrative distance in this piece, but it kind of makes sense in a very strange thematic way. I just wonder if it will come across to the reader, who has no idea what I'm seeing when I look at the construction of it.


Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not the sitter.
Oscar Wilde