On her blog, Erika Dreifus looks at linked story collections (several stories with similar characters/locations/themes/etc.). How can they be written and evaluated in comparison to novels or collections of separate short stories? She quotes Junot Diaz:
“I’ve always conceptualized linked collections as these wonderful Lagrange points between the story collection and the novel. In them there’s this weird bit of space—again not as much as in a novel, but more than a standard collection—from which wonderful stuff can be spun, stuff that neither the traditional novel nor the traditional story collection can generate. A fascinating patch of liminality that writers haven’t done quite enough with, in my opinion.”
YA and children’s literature has a limited amount of short stories in general, let alone linked short stories*. I wonder if a collection of linked short stories could work better than just a standard collection. Teen years are filled with so many facets and contradictions–maybe a series of linked stories could reflect that really well.
*Oddly enough, when I was a YA myself, I wrote a series of linked stories, even though I didn’t know that was what it was called at the time.