Category: Analyses

The Fourth Draft: Editing a Short Story with a Friend

The Fourth Draft: Editing a Short Story with a Friend

I’m finished with the foundations, frame, and other major changes to the story, and need to take the next, worst step: being picky about the details. I’m not a naturally persnickety person. Editing at the sentence level is usually as far as I go. Words and turns of phrases feel better when I don’t think …

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Information and Annihilation

Information and Annihilation

If the hunt for knowledge courts destruction, the attainment of knowledge damns the seekers. Annihilation’s unreal geography and story is shaped by information. The search for it, the lack of it, and the fraught circumstances by which it is attained catalyzes revelations of self and humanity which gives the book mortal urgency. Annihilation was written …

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Story Cycling in The House of the Scorpion

Story Cycling in The House of the Scorpion

I reread The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer, in my spare time during the art camp and remembered why I loved the book. I’m going to analyze it in place of the other short stories I had scheduled. As always, this is not a review. There may be spoilers for those who haven’t …

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The Second Draft

The Second Draft

I am on the third draft of the short story, looking back on what I’ve done with the second. Mostly, revising the second draft means ossifying plot and rewriting major sections. I have the ending figured out, I know my major changes, and I’ve cut out the elements which don’t make sense and added structure. …

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Shit Taste and Paranamanco

Shit Taste and Paranamanco

Disliking many of the short stories in The Big Book of Science Fiction made me wonder if maybe I have shit taste. After all, nearly all of them are award-winning or era-defining or represent the national sci-fi archetype or have some other pedigree. If other people thought they were so good that they awarded them …

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Atmosphere in The Hands

Atmosphere in The Hands

My second analysis from The Big Book of Science Fiction will be The Hands by John Baxter. The short story doesn’t have a free online version. If you’d like to read it, you’ll have to buy the anthology (which you should do anyway because it is excellent). As always, this is not a review. There …

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Metaphor and Message in Standing Woman

Metaphor and Message in Standing Woman

Standing Woman by Yasutaka Tsutsui is one of the many short stories anthologized in The Big Book of Science Fiction.It’s a short read, not more than five pages, and I think being able to read the story yourself would help you follow along. The version in The Big Book of Science Fiction is translated by …

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Homework for Fun

Homework for Fun

I was talking with a friend one night about the story analysis articles, and I said, “If someone told me I would be doing homework for fun after school, I woulda punched them.” And she said, “Teach me how to do homework for fun.” So I thought a bit and put a few points down …

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