Tuesday, April 04, 2006

On the Fiction of the New Edition of "Dappled Things"

I can't help but complain about the quality of the fiction in the journal Dappled Things. The stories suffer from flimsy characterization and saccharine plots. Two of the stories are little more than authors attempting to write autobiographies of fictional people, these people being mostly narcissistic. I blame the first person perspective and excessive concern for psychological descriptions.

The final story pretends to be set in the Great Depression, but the author makes several anachronistic howlers like calling a parish priest by his first name. The author also lifts his shallow group of church-ladies straight from Polyanna, WASPiness and all. In Polyanna such women were minor characters, yet they have not shed their extraneous character despite having been placed at center-stage. The story's own minor characters leave an even fainter impression.

Fortunately, Dappled Things is an amateur magazine. I might throw together something for it so that my own writing might become the object of criticism or even derision.

No comments: