Everyone’s heard of the phrase “long story short,” which (when used properly, as it so often is not) implies that there are a lot of details to a story, but the teller doesn’t want to bore the listener and thus plans to cut out all the extraneous details in order to get right to the point.

But what about the opposite? What if there was a “short story long”? I’m trying to figure out whether that would turn into fluffing up short stories or if it could turn into fleshing out short stories into something more. I think it could be interesting.

Take for example, the classic Ernest Hemingway short story, produced in its entirety below:

Classified: Baby Goods. For sale, baby shoes, never worn.

That story is complete (and short, at only nine words). But there is a story behind this. What happened to the baby? It’s assumed that the baby either died or the mother had a miscarriage, but there are so many different ways to have had such a thing happen. Like I said, there is a story behind that story, and that’s the story that I’d be looking to tell. This is, of course, just an example, but imagine it. Stories behind short stories. Making the short story long. Could be fun.

-Fred

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