Short Story Cycles

Searching the Literary Spectrum for Place and Space

This thesis explores the diverse and dynamic nature of creative works that exist on the spectrum between the novel and short story genres. In my exegesis I discuss the unique characteristics of the novel and short story, in particular focusing on how short stories can be linked to varying degrees to form a collection that is greater than the sum of its parts. I discuss the journey I took to create the linked stories in The Accident, and where the body of work might be placed on this spectrum.

The Accident consists of twelve chapters, one for every month of the year. Each chapter tells a story from a different point of view. Whilst individually the stories contain elements of the short story form, there is an overall macro story with characters weaving in and out of chapters, and revelations and connections occurring. This is done in a deliberate attempt to blur the boundaries between the novel and short story genres.

Underpinning The Accident is the importance of place and space, both narratively, and thematically. The exegesis examines my growing understanding of how place and space can be used as narratological tools to drive plot, characterisation, and theme. Whilst in The Accident, I explore a person’s sense of place, whether it be geographically, or within a family or community. Characters in The Accident with a strong sense of place, are more likely to show resilience when faced with loss, and are better able to give and accept love. 

Direct link (exegesis only):


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