I think Spotlight is fantastic, actually. I don’t hate it. In fact, I think it’s one of the most underrated and underutilized styles available.
I enjoy the simplicity and the straight-to-the-point attitude of the style. I suppose you are challenged (and I love challenges and taking risks) to write in an uncommon style that you aren’t familiar with, and I believe the author could be tasked to put extra focus to their narrative and that can make a story juicier when you invest in that, depending on how you write it especially. The ‘heavy on the reading’ as you said, the details, the syntax, the style of writing, etc. is something that an author writing with Spotlight must keep to usually high standards due to its unorthodox nature and difficulty, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all; if anything, it’s a benefit to the author to gain some skills and become an overall better writer.
Of course, you could do the same for a cinematic story, and any story regardless of the style should be of high standards but the spotlight style was designed for writing like this…
Ideally, although I have never written a story here before, I would think that gaining experience by writing some stories in Spotlight first could actually help improve writing cinematic stories as well for the reasons I stated before because you can translate that style and detail of writing into a cinematic environment visually.
The results could make a huge difference. People usually underestimate Spotlight and what it can do for a story. They only see limitations. I see possibilities. You can do so much with Spotlight, you just have to think outside the box and adapt. It’s good to branch out and try different things, as they always say.
And yes, I would take the risk no matter how long or short it is. A perfect example of a well-crafted Spotlight story is H & V: The Smoke that Separates Us by @Res. By reading the story, you grasp a unique feel for the descriptions and character’s thoughts. It’s authentic and refreshing to me; almost like an actual book, which is kinda cool. I find it nice to imagine the characters in my head as well, whereas in the cinematic style I already have a picture in front of me.
There are also other great Spotlight stories but I, unfortunately, haven’t found much due to its low popularity. Really wish there were more stories in Spotlight.
Anyway, I don’t dismiss a story if it’s in Spotlight or any certain style. I will never do that. In my opinion, writing is writing. I’m reading for the story, not the art style.