The Compulsive Reader: The Curiosities by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Curiosities by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff

For sporadic periods of time a few years ago, I would follow the Merry Sisters of Fate blog of short stories, written by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff. They took turns posting a new short story every week. Not only was it exciting to get little glimpses into these writers’ brains in each story, but it was impressive to see their bravery in posting these stories, raw and unedited, for the whole world to see.

The Curiosities is billed as a collection of these short stories from the Merry Sisters of Fate, but more than half could be more accurately described as vignettes. They all vary in theme, style, length, and genre, but most are speculative fiction. The authors’ introduction is open about the fact that the stories were experimental and used as learning tools to explore different writing skill sets and to teach each other about craft. The stories feature hand-written comments and notes by each of the sisters, pointing out craft lessons or just general background information. This would be an average collection of mostly average stories if not for these notes; they show awareness for form and the attempts that the authors make to learn from each other and their own mistakes in writing. Though not a craft book, The Curiosities is an interesting study in how playfulness, experimentation, and connection with other like-minded writers can be an important step in the process of learning craft.

If you’re a fan of these writers, pick up The Curiosities for an intimate look into the writing processes—in some cases you can see how short works and certain characters have evolved and made their ways into the writers’ published novels. But even if you haven’t read anything by Stiefvater, Gratton, or Yovanoff, if you are a writer, this is an interesting collection that you’ll want to wander through.

Book purchased from my indie.

1 comment:

readingunderground.org said...

Sounds interesting! I'm a sucker for short story collections.