Because I’ve always loved them. Because they can be long or short. There’s a lot of scope for humour (or tragedy) in them. They give a strong message via an entertaining story. They make you think. There isn’t necessarily a happy ending either. I also think fairytales stick in the memory for longer than most story forms because of the reasons I’ve given here. You can pitch fairytales for all ages too (naturally adjusting the writing style and language used accordingly).
Where DO you get your ideas?
From life - my own and others! I look for interesting character traits. I look for odd costumes (and then think of what kind of character could wear them). I never “lift” directly from a person. I combine attributes (looks etc) with general traits (stubborn as hell, doormat etc) to come up with something new. Proverbs can inspire ideas and I find there’s nothing to beat playing the “what if?” game. That has set off all sorts of writing ideas for me.
What is the best form of fiction - short story or novel?
Books could literally be written on this and it wouldn’t surprise me if they had been. I ask why choose! Both are wonderful forms. Both have classic examples. Both are entertaining, make you think, invent other worlds and stretch your mind. Both should have memorable characters and incidents. The big advantage of the novel of course is you can have a lot more of those than you can in a short story. Yet the short story’s big advantage is that having to focus on fewer characters and incidents makes it a more intense tale. It all depends on whether you fancy a long or short literary “drink”! For short stories, I generally prefer the word count to be under 5,000 (and ideally for me to be between 1000 and 2500, I like my short fiction to be literally short and sharp!). I also like a well crafted piece of flash fiction. I admit though the novel in many ways can be “easier” to do - you have the space in which to expand your ideas and cut backs can always be done later.