“A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.”-Edgar Allan Poe

What are your thoughts,  fellow short story writers?

 Is your philosophy at odds with Poe’s?

Let me know in the comments! 

10 thoughts on “

  1. That’s interesting. A climax, an epiphany, a character development — these are the things I thought a story needed. But now that I think about Poe’s comments, I think you could say it was true of story writers like Mavis Gallant and Alice Munro, each story its own mood.


    • Oh, I definitely think that is applies to some writers and/or specific stories. Others, not at all. But it is certainty something to think about, and the more we have to think about the more pliable and less stale we are as writers.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think it depends on the story, of course. Sometimes it’s true, sometimes it isn’t.

      It’s funny, because my most recent story definitely has a consistent mood throughout. It also has a twist ending, but the twist ending is still consistent with the mood and everything that led up to the ending. Yet, the revelation is still an unexpected gut-punch.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I agree. Always/never advice tends to trip you up. I think that these things make for great conversation starters. Anything that makes you think about why you do what you do, as a writer, is useful.

        Liked by 1 person

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