Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dissecting the Short Story Preview & Goals Update

Every second Friday I post a new entry in my "Dissecting the Short Story" series. In this series I write up a detailed analysis of the story and what I think may have been some of the issues that the writer considered in crafting their story. The goal is to use this analysis to help better understand what makes stories which receive publication in the major digest magazines work for editors and readers.

This week's dissection will be of Jon Armstrong's "Aisle 1047." This one is a bit different from the last two stories I've analyzed, so it should be an interesting discussion. This story was published in the September/October 2011 edition of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. So, if you have that issue and haven't read this story yet, now would be the time.

Also, I wanted to give a quick update on my September goals.

1) Write 15,000 words of fiction across at least four stories. - I've got the "at least four stories piece done" and I'm well on my way to 15,000 words.
2) Take all of my August stories which have not yet gone through Beta/critique through Beta/critique. - In progress. I've completed this for several stories and have several more where I've received feedback and need to use it for revisions. I do also have one August story that's awaiting a second draft before I send it out for critique.
3) Stick to my planned Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday blogging schedule. - On target.

I hope that everyone is having a good week. See you on Friday at the dissection!


  1. I'm glad your goals are going well. Your Dissecting the Short Story idea sounds like an interesting idea. I'll be back Friday to check it out.

  2. Congrats on staying on target! You rock!

    I can't wait to read your dissection. It sounds awesome.

  3. Thanks, JEFritz and Marlena, glad you're both looking forward to Friday's piece!

  4. Michael,

    It's fantastic to see you setting such goals for yourself! That's how I function too -- goals, goals, goals, that way, I feel like I'm either succeeding or completely failing! :P

    If you ever need beta-eyes on a project, I'd love to help. It looks like you've got this all pretty under control!

  5. Hi, Rance, thanks for stopping by.

    That is one of the downsides of goals, isn't it? When you fail, at least if you're like me, it can be really easy to do the whole "Well, I tried." attitude and chuck it all away. Been there. Done that. Don't want the T-shirt, thankyouverymuch.

    That's where I'm really hoping the support network that exists will be a boost if I get down. Likewise, I hope I'm boosting others up as well.

    And, yes, I would be thrilled to work with you sometime on swapping stuff for Beta reading. In fact, I've got a couple of stories that are ready for Beta, so I will likely touch base with you soon!