Tuesday, 27 December 2011

More Christmas Presents and Words of Wisdom for Writers: Geraldine Brooks Edits The Best American Short Stories 2011

One of the gifts I look most forward to each year is the new number of The Best American Short Stories. This year the journalist-turned-fiction writer Geraldine Brooks is the editor, and, while I haven't had a chance to really delve into the volume, I found her introductory essay most thought provoking.

One of her main points is that a short story is often the better for having a structure which can be related to plot. The setup, the reveal, the reversal and the resolution are the names she gives to four elements that often (but, she asserts, not always) found in good stories.

Hmm, I thought to myself: that schema is worth holding in mind while I work on my own short stories. One of the things I've really got to get cracking on is the collection, Desire Lines: A Geography of Love, the collection for which I got a grant from Quebec's art agency, the Conseil des arts et lettres du Québec.

Topic for this afternoon's work: take a look at what I've got so far to see if I've been using the structure.

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