Category Archives: Short Stories

Don’t Be Afraid of Your Characters

A while back I wrote the blog post Don’t Be Afraid to Tell Your Story. In it I discussed the way Roxane Gay plunges into a story without much, if any, background, and how that makes her work powerfully captivating. … Continue reading

Posted in Moshfegh, Short Stories, Stefen, Writing Craft | 2 Comments

Desert Boys

Topicality can kill otherwise good fiction. Politics, current events, new technologies might make a story seem immediate and important, but can also quickly date it, making it seem naive or, worse, irrelevant. Then there’s the danger of didacticism. Essays barely … Continue reading

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The Emerald Light in the Air

Baldly speaking, most of Donald Antrim’s characters in the collection The Emerald Light in the Air suffer from some form of mental instability, clinical depression or bipolar disorder. Men and women on the verge of a nervous breakdown is a … Continue reading

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How Short Can a Story Be?

Hemingway’s apocryphal six-word story – “For sale, Baby shoes, Never worn.” — is justly famous. Not because he supposedly wrote it in mere seconds on a cocktail napkin in order to win a bet, but because it shows that a … Continue reading

Posted in Dybek, Flash, Hemingway, Short Stories, Stefen, Writing Craft | Leave a comment

Keep Them Reading

One thing a writer must do (perhaps the writer’s primary responsibility) is convince the reader to keep reading. There are numerous ways this can be accomplished, but one sure method is to create a sense of unease about how the … Continue reading

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There’s Something I Want You to Do

What do we owe each other? How far should a person go, how much should a person sacrifice to ensure their fellows are cared for? What exactly are the obligations we have to one another? These are some of the … Continue reading

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