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Reading short fiction

Over the last couple of months I have written a few short stories, but it struck me that I don’t have much of a clue what a short story is or the various forms they can take.

I have read a few short stories over the years, but I have read them as a reader, as a consumer, not as a writer. Some have stuck in my mind, although I probably wouldn’t be able to remember the author, let alone the title of any of them. And if I added them all up, it might be a hundred, possibly two hundred, spread over forty years.

Therefore, I have decided to be more consistent, with a view to learning the craft by getting to know the short story form. And the way I will do that is by reading at least one short story every day.

Some will be short short stories, some long, and some might be novellas. I won’t count flash fiction otherwise I will have an easy get-out. I will read from any genre, although I will almost certainly favour science fiction, and both old and new stories. And I will mostly try to read award-winning or reputably published stories. There will be exceptions to that rule, however.

I have read at least one story a day for nineteen days so far, for a total of twenty-four. My aim is to read at least 365 short stories by the end of 2016.

By then, I might begin to understand short story form.

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