It’s been more than a month since I started posting my short stories to Wattpad—the online repository of fiction long and short, popular and (in my case) decidedly unpopular. Somehow the weeks pass and I miss my deadline. (Isn’t that the way with all writers?!) My particular curse and/or blessing as a writer is that I’m also an editor and publisher, which means that I always have one skeptical eye on the viability of my stories as a vehicle of communication as well as a means of self-expression, and temper my natural obscurantism with a cheap laugh and a ringing phrase. That inclination to want to pull my punches and dive thoroughly into the emotional depths of a piece also involves a tendency to want to explicate and analyze my own stories as a way to investigate the art of writing.
But, using the rule that sometimes it’s best not to work around a problem but march through it (as well as a way of providing some amusement for myself, insight for those of you reading this blog, and perhaps as a way to coax folks to read my short stories), I’m going to write a kind of critical companion piece to each story on Wattpad. I’ll explain what I attempted to say and examine how successful I felt I was. Such a self-conscious deconstruction of my stories may not make them any more people read them, but it might make them more readable.