Tessa, She’s Not Getting Ahead

She’d turned tart, stiff in her
dancing, a pliancy lost in some turn
–of course he’d sensed it.

She’d asked him to cut the grass
in her lawn, but he’d sent someone.
She’d yelled, scram!

And the pact’s broken.


Hey there, peeps! It’s Day 3 of 2017 and I’ve just had the pleasure of reading an exquisite story (Alice Munro, “Oh, What Avails”). Why is it so? What sort of analogy to use? A master storyteller peels off layer after layer finally to reveal the pattern of an entire life, or rather, lives, as a single life is inevitably entwined with other lives, isn’t it so? If you’re an author thinking about character, you’d do best if you mark out a single affliction for that character. And then you weave it so that the story is about how the character deals with it. There’re simply too many examples (Hamlet, Faustus, Humbert in Lolita, etc etc) so I would not want to cloud your mind. But do not let the secret out till towards the end, then you’d have blown the reader’s mind. The way you let it out is not to really let it all out. Is that enough of a prompt?


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