The Macksey Journal


The short story cycle is a genre of fiction that is relentless in its pursuit of navigating a storyline with little room to do so. Given the short story’s limited word count, it is often paired with a sequence of other interrelated works that are strung together through common themes, characters, or viewpoints. Audiences are often unaware of the considerable requirements that it takes to produce a short story cycle despite the extensive comprehension needed to truly plot out a successful one. Susan Minot has provided substantial progress in the conception and appreciation of this genre her short story cycle, “Monkeys”. Minot produced a cycle that elicited authentic feelings from her audience through episodic narratives. She then feeds a level of satisfaction to the reader when the end of the cycle provides a resolution that solidifies the outcome of each character’s storyline.

In my personal short story cycle entitled “Yin and Yang”, I utilize the plot development, scene description, and dialogue that I have acquired from analyzing their cycles. However, each author owes the reader a piece written in their own voice, so I challenged these ideas and built a cycle that focuses on the illustrative power of poetry while still telling a story.

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