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Notes on Methodology

The short story has long been a form with two primary purposes:

  1. Some stories are better told in a shorter format. The immediacy and punch of a well-crafted short story is suited to slices of life and moments of clarity and provides an outlet for tales that might otherwise become lost in the complexities of a novel-length work. Another advantage of short fiction is the freedom to experiment with form in ways that might become cumbersome and unmanageable in a longer work.

  2. Short fiction has also served as an entry point for new authors; it has been a way to “break in” and build a portfolio of published writing that may one day attract the attention of agents or publishers.

In recent years, short fiction–like most printed-word mediums–has suffered from a decline in sales and popularity, but there are still short fiction outlets to be found.

One of the goals of this blog is to shine light on these outlets, promote the writers, and encourage a rejuvenation of the American Short Story.

Additionally, as a writer, it is important for me to study and contemplate the aspects of craft. To that end, the reviews posted here will be both reactionary (overview of the story, characters, setting, emotional impact, and general “success” of the story) and craft-centered (what choices were made behind the scenes, how were the basics of the story handled, how did those choices impact the story).

Both reaction and the discussion of craft are subjective. I make no claims to expertise and I’m working under no delusion that my way of looking at the story is in any way definitive.

When possible, I’ll provide links or other information to allow you to find the stories or books featured, and promote the work of the authors, especially those I find I like best.

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