I think that all of these short stories are important for an aspiring writer to read. All of these stories have different techniques and a writer who is intrigued by some of these techniques can incorporate them into their own stories. One of the most important things to know before writing is how the story is told, whether that be first person like in “Chlorine” or third person such as “The Lady With the Dog.” Characters are extremely important because that is what draws me into a story. I was interested immediately with Anna from “Lady” which allowed me to get involved with the story. It took me a little longer to become invested with the characters in “Black and White” which is why I did not find the story as interesting at first.
The other extremely important device in a story is plot. I found the plot in “Lady” to be fascinating because I did not know what was going to happen between Anna and Dimitri, but I wanted to know. Then when Anna leaves it raises the question whether the two will ever see each other again. When they finally do we still don’t know if they are going to end up together. It is a very intriguing plot because we are invested in the characters and we never know what is going to happen next.
There are also different ways to write the setting of the story. We do not exactly know where Anna is from. We just know that it begins with an S. It does not matter to the story if we know where she is from. I also like the way “Black and White” starts out by telling us exactly when the story is beginning by giving us the time and the day. Both ways are effective for their particular story.
What I would finally say to a new writer is to get familiar with all types of techniques and try using as many as you want to because I think that is the best way to figure out your style. You can’t just start writing and know exactly what your style is; it takes practice. Don’t be afraid to experiment or even fail. Writing is supposed to be fun so have fun with it.