How Do We Rate/Review Stories? Part 1

Short post this week:

So, last week I published a post that somewhat challenged Short Fiction. Not to demean it, but to challenge its ability to create stories that resonate with us, due to its short length. I've continued to think about those thoughts, and for the most part they haven't changed. I love Short Fiction, Anton Chekhov is one of my favourite writers, I have great respect for the genre, overall, and I do still feel that it lacks the memorable effect, the emotional connection that longer pieces generate (novels, novellas, etc). For the most part.

I took some time to go through my bookshelf and flip through other short story collections I have. My thoughts then changed, as I came across stories such as Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis, Stefan Zweig's Amok, and Nikolai Gogol's The Nose. These are some of my most beloved short stories, reason being they felt like reading a novel, which made me slightly rethink some of the thoughts/challenges I had towards Short Fiction.

My main challenge was, how can you invest in a story if it isn't given enough time to develop? If you don't have the time to invest yourself? In terms of story length. My example in last week's post was Anton Chekhov's The Death of a Clerk. Short, funny, enjoyable, a pleasure to read, but I wouldn't call it a masterpiece. Yet, with the stories I mentioned above, I didn't have these issues because of their novel-like feel. In fact, I would place their overall quality above novels I have read. To be fair, they were a lot longer than The Death of a Clerk's three pages, but that continues to place an emphasis on length.

As you can see, my mind is jumping from side to side, trying to account for all factors when judging and considering the quality and success of stories, whether short or long. It's for this reason that I've decided to create a review rubric to really break down and evaluate stories, and see if my initial thoughts concerning Short Fiction are valid. The rubric is in the works and will be published in Part 2 of this post! It will also begin my reviews of novels and short stories, something I've wanted to do for a long time, and will eventually connect itself to movie reviews!

I look forward to sharing my review rubric for fiction in the coming week! Until then, I have a question for you: how do you rate/review books and stories?

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