A short story I recently read

The Upstairs People, by Laura van den Berg Available here. Read it in about 20 minutes. Analysis: Thinking about time and structure…  This story begins in the present – one year after the unnamed narrator’s father died. Then, only three sentences in, we jump back, and the narrator details a strange dream about her fatherContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently re-read

‘The Bus’, by Shirley Jackson Available here. You can read it in 40 minutes or so. Analysis:  Thinking about structure…  The story begins with the simple statement ‘Miss Harper was going home, although the night was wet and nasty.’ The word ‘home’ is repeated 5 times in the opening paragraph, as the reader is told (without aContinue reading “A short story I recently re-read”

A short story I recently re-read

‘The Tell-Tale Heart’, by Edgar Allan Poe Available here. Read it in about 15 minutes. Analysis:                                Thinking about using rhetorical devices… This is the opening of a classic Poe horror story. The story is told in the first person, by aContinue reading “A short story I recently re-read”

Three stories for autumn

If you’re looking for some reading to inspire your own writing this autumn, you might like to consider some of these stories: The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield Read an excerpt here. This is a metafictional novel – a story about stories. The narrator is reminiscent of a Brontë heroine, there are references to 18thContinue reading “Three stories for autumn”

A short story I recently read

‘Arachne’, by Nina MacLaughlin Available here. Less than a 15-minute read. Analysis: Thinking about adaptations and ‘writing back’…  This story is an adaptation of the myth of Minerva (Roman Goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, strategic warfare, commerce, weaving, and the crafts) and her interactions with a mortal named Arachne. In the myth, Minerva punishes ArachneContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently re-read

‘Girl’, by Jamaica Kincaid Available here. It’s very short – less than a 5-minute read. Analysis:  Thinking about elements of story…  The thing about short stories is that they’re able to defy expectations in a way that novels cannot (with a few exceptions), and the way this short story handles structure is a fantastic exampleContinue reading “A short story I recently re-read”

Three of my favourite short stories

I came across a blog post recently that suggested a ‘gratitude’ approach to reading. So, here are 3 books I’m grateful for: ‘Death on the Nile’, by Agatha Christie I am grateful for this book because, first of all, I have always loved going on epic journeys, so I love reading about them too – myContinue reading “Three of my favourite short stories”

A short story I recently read

‘Girls, At Play’, by Celeste Ng Read it here in about half an hour. Trigger warning: makes reference to teenage girls and sexual activity. Thinking about how the story opens, and how readers are engaged… The first paragraph uses an unemotional and factual tone to describe something shocking – a sexualised game, played by childrenContinue reading “A short story I recently read”