Notes on “Writers’ Market”

This story seems more than a little pretentious to me. Nearly every writer, when he writes long enough, eventually writes about a writer. See also: Stephen King. It’s also somewhat in fashion to write about the nature of stories themselves. Here, I do both, and I’m not entirely sure it’s successful. I’d like to think it’s entertaining, though.

The fact that the published writer gets what’s coming to him is good, but I’m more than a little dubious that he’d return to the city in the first place. Perhaps he feels safe in the graveyard, but I have a hard time believing he’d come back for a drink, even disguised. This is by far the most glaring error in the story in my eyes.

The three unrelated stories cobbling together the author’s tale for Malcolm also is a bit much to swallow.

However, I do like the system set up, where stories sell themselves in order to be told. There’s a sort of economy of the imagination there, and I think it works in a short story format. Anything longer it would fall apart fairly quickly, but in this short space I think it functions well.

Malcolm is a bit plain for a protagonist, though. We know he’s desperate for a story, but when he gets home… he doesn’t do anything for it. Or are we to believe he was desperate for a story simply to use at bedtime with his children? I can understand that kind of desperation, I suppose, but it still doesn’t quite work.

So, overall, I grade this as a neat idea but only passable execution. As I said, I hope it at least entertained you.

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