Curious how lately I can read one sentence, the opening sentence of a book, or of a short story, and immediately tell if there is meat to it, if the writing is good, if it's worth my time reading, or not. Where is this coming from? From reading a lot? From writing a lot? I dunno. But after I have forced myself to read The Turn of the Screw by Henry James because it was hailed as a classic ghost story and nearly puked from trying to like it, I'm not going to do it anymore (or so I keep promising myself).
Recently I have started quickly scanning various zines on the net for new authors and new books, and the difference between something good and REALLY GOOD is startling. Take a look at this, a short story Aquarium by Elaine Chiew. I read the first paragraph and I want to read more of her writing. Now what I'm trying to figure out is what sets it aside? What's so special about it? What made me want to read it?