One of those three in the morning revelatory moments that no doubt all writers of short fiction already know...
Call yourself a storyteller, and people know exactly what you mean. They spark. Because it is in our psyche, listening to stories. It is deeply rooted, the need to share events, happenings, lessons learned through a drama.
Call yourself a short story writer, and they go all negative. What's that? Why aren't you writing a novel? The markets are so diverse, that there is no immediate understanding about what you do.
So I am a storyteller.
The only thing is... (and whether this is a feature of the 'academicisation' of writing, or whether it is a stylistic thing that would have happened anyway)...much of what is written is so impenetrable.
In story terms, impenetrable. So many flights of language, or flashbacks that drop the baton, or exposition rambles... that the flow of the story is lost.
Isn't that why 'voice' is important? Because stories are meant to be voiced. Either literally (in the telling) or in our own act of telling stories to ourselves, in our heads as we read?
THAT was the thought that came to me at three o clock. The best ones I've managed are the ones that have both strong voices and reveal themselves bit by bit in a clear 'listen to me' story style.
There are also ones that work rather like poems, in the rhythms of prose that are just lovely to listen to either really listen, or again, in your head.
But it all goes back into the mists of whenever. We're on a continuum, mustn't lose sight of the simple things.
I guess everyone knew that anyway. Duh.