Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link
Exasperating. With the exception of The Faery Handbag, none of the supposed stories in this collection actually contain a story at all. Some of them contain multiple stories, nested and incomplete, but most are just character and setting with a complete lack of anything happening. Ever. For page after page.
Possibly the worst short story collection I’ve ever read.
Three things it taught me about writing:
- Story is supreme. Choose your words well, but make telling a good story your first priority.
- Deliver on your promises to the reader. If you promise zombies, give them some damn zombies.
- If your story can be summed up in a single sentence, maybe it doesn't need to be an entire novel.