imaginary readers of this blog people of the word,
i found the antidote to the terminal question: how do i order stories in a collection? the source of this antidote is David Jauss. he’s written a book on writing and within said book, a chapter on the unification of short stories into a collection. an entire chapter. sweet jesus, what a find. he acknowledges that it’s usually intuition that drives writers to order their stories but there are techniques.
techniques like liaisons; motifs; recurring characters, settings and subject matter; parallels; contrasts and mirrors; frames. then Jauss discusses principles of aesthetic quality, variety, order of composition, chronology, configuration and mimesis. it’s clear to me that you can edit the hell out of your collection to bring some of these connections to the surface but you need a certain amount of forethought in writing a collection of linked stories. control. and Jauss goes into the emotional effect on the reader–this is what i find fascinating. the way SS collections make you feel when read in order.
there’s so much to learn, you know?