Deconstructing short stories

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In late September my wife and I had a baby boy. Every day with my son is a thrill, but there are minor downsides, including the fact that my novel-reading speed has tanked.

That’s not the only reason that I’ve decided to concentrate on reading short fiction this year. I write SF short stories and have had a couple published, but I tend not to read short fiction for pleasure. This seems ridiculous – would you give the time of day to a would-be novelist who didn’t read novels? The more stories I write, the more I realise that I don’t quite understand the conventions of short fiction, or even what I enjoy most.

I’m not interested in reviewing short stories critically. Published stories have been endorsed, whereas mine languish in magazine editors’ inboxes, so who am I to criticise? I’m interested in deconstructing stories in order to understand how they tick.

I’ll keep updating this list as an index of #StoryDecon articles:

 

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