I have discovered that it’s a bit odd to alternate short-story classics which have stood the test of time with currently-written stories which may be written more for entertainment value than with an attempt at providing layers of meaning. I’ve found myself feeling as if many of the new stories are “light weight,” yet they are not bad stories. In an effort to provide some sort of rating, I’ve added two scores to each review.
First, Language Skills, 1-10. Skill means more than good grammar and spelling, although that is certainly a part of it. It includes such things as word selection, timing, believable dialogue, settings, etc. Because most of the older stories I review have become classics, they are necessarily going to rank higher than most of the new stories.
Second, Depth of Meaning, 1-10. Stories that survive the decades usually do so because they contain universal truths coupled with engaging people and plots, and often force us to think more deeply about a situation than we might if we were presented with only the facts. This also means that the classic stories are usually going to rank higher than the newer ones.
I hope none of the authors of new stories will take offense at this system; if I were rating my own stories, I certainly wouldn’t give them scores of 8-10 either. Perhaps some of us newcomers will become well-known writers of much-beloved tales. But most of us aren’t there yet.