A question I’m asked frequently in my short fiction workshops goes like this: Do you really take into consideration things like elements of plot and the part of a story when you’re considering them for publication?
My response is: Yes, but maybe not the way you thinking.
I know that’s a dodgy answer. But give me a chance to explain myself.
When I’m reading a story for publication in Apex Magazine, I don’t have a checklist that I mark off: introduction–check, rising action–check, climax–check, etc. The elements of plot aren’t constructs that editors insist you adhere to, but merely tools to get the job done.
What is that job? To write a damn good story!
I’m not checking off if you write to basic structure of a story. I will take notes if I think the climax is a let down. Or if the rising action requires more. Or if your introduction needs a tweak.
Many of the most memorable and best stories play with story structure. I’m not talking in a cutesy “Hey look at my verbal hijinks” manner.
As a writer, you should understand the basic mechanics of short fiction. But it isn’t something to fret about if you’re hoping to sell your fiction. A great story is a great story. End of story…