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The Storyteller Interview

Posted on 30 March 2005. © Copyright 2004-2018 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
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WriteWords talks to Sam Barnes, editor of The Storyteller, a web-based fiction ezine featuring short stories between 1000-3000 words

Tell us something about your background.

I’m an English teacher. I write in my spare time. I decided to start up The
Storyteller, both as a platform for my own writing, and the work of others. I enjoy reading short stories on the web, and decided to limit the site exclusively to works of between 1000 and 3000 words, (approximately). Like many other writers, I am working on novel, but it will be several months yet before it’s finished. I like the format of short stories, because you can read them all in one go. Kind of like a bedtime story…


What kind of writing do you look for?

Anything with a fresh and original feel; or traditional well crafted stories. The most important thing, personally speaking, is that I get some strong mental images from a story. I am looking for textures, sights, sounds, smells: ‘Writerly writing’ rather than complex plots. Interesting plots are of course welcome, but with The Storyteller I am not looking for ‘cluedo’ style detective stories. Having said that I do aim to include a range of different writing styles on the site, and will consider all submissions.

How do you find writers?

Writers web rings, forums, short story sites. ( Though I am not trying to pilfer other people’s viewers!) I hope to increase public awareness of my site through links to sites such as WriteWords. This way I am slowly but surely increasing the amount of submissions I receive. It’s not easy to find decent stories, and I appreciate people submitting work. I try to give constructive feedback even if I don’t accept a story.

Who are your favourite writers and why?

I love Douglas Adams, and the Hitchhiker’s series. Anything with a touch of humour; Iain Banks, Alex Garland, Irving Welsh.


What excites you about a piece of writing-

Difficult one! If a book or story makes me want to turn the next page this excites me. If I can’t go to bed before I finish the story—this thrills me. Anything that I read has to have a good structure to it, meaning and events in a story must be portrayed clearly, and I like getting strong and crisp mental images from a text. When this happens I think ‘Wow, why can’t I write like that’?

and what makes your heart sink?

When a story starts out well, and then becomes very mediocre. I think the hardest thing for authors is to carry a story through, maintaining the readers interest the whole time. This is not to say that a text cannot change pace, just that there should be a reason for including each component of a story.



A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.






Comments by other Members



Silverelli at 16:12 on 30 March 2005  Report this post
Good interview.
Good luck with the magazine.

Adam.

Zigeroon at 21:12 on 30 March 2005  Report this post

Enjoyed this one. Reviewing comedic short stories for submission.

And writing.

Andrew

Nik Perring at 17:33 on 31 March 2005  Report this post
Sounds good.
Nik.

old friend at 07:20 on 03 August 2006  Report this post

Sam not only knows how to write a good short story but he has the ability of selecting work of high standards from others.

Congratulations and may increasing success come your way. A nice Interview. Thanks

Len


Beanie Baby at 12:28 on 22 August 2006  Report this post
Interesting interview. I am not much of a short-story writer but this has inspired me to give it a go.

Good luck with the magazine.
Beanie


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