How I wrote it

My short story ‘Wild Love‘ was published in Makarelle’s winter 2021/22 edition, which was on the theme Love is Love. I wrote this story during my MA in Creative Writing. How it came about was, I wanted to challenge myself to write something in the romance genre. I considered this to be a challenge becauseContinue reading “How I wrote it”

A short story I recently read

‘Anything Could Disappear’ by Danielle Evans Read it here in about 60 minutes. Thinking about why I liked it… The sparse but specific details build the story and characters. For example, in the first paragraph Vera’s twenty-four-hour bus journey is compressed into a mixture of impressions from the different stops on the journey: ‘From ChicagoContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story for winter

‘Winter Break’ by Hilary Mantel Read it here in about 15 minutes. Thinking about time… Time is important in this story, for several reasons. Firstly, time is used as a structural device. The story is just under 2,000 words long, and spans the duration of a taxi ride from the airport to the couple’s hotel,Continue reading “A short story for winter”

A short story I recently read

‘Guts’ by Kimberly King Parsons Read it here in about 50 minutes. Thinking about juxtaposed characters… Our narrator, Sheila, is an imperfect woman, a flawed character. She struggles with her body, self-esteem, and life choices. She’s embarrassed, but can’t stop eating junk food, secretly drinks alcohol and smokes pot, and is insecure about her relationshipContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story for Halloween

‘A Better Place’ by Ottessa Moshfegh Read it here in less than an hour. Thinking about why it’s unsettling… In the first paragraph, our narrator, Urszula, says she’s not from Earth, but from ‘some other place’. This is a young girl speaking, as indicated by the childish tone, the vocabulary (‘silly people’), and her inabilityContinue reading “A short story for Halloween”

A short story for Halloween

‘Afternoon at the Bakery’ by Yoko Ogawa Read it here (click on ‘Read Excerpt’, underneath the picture of the book’s cover, to read the entire story), in about 20 minutes. Thinking about why it’s unsettling… The first two paragraphs describe a beautiful day in a peaceful place, where people go about their business, doing ordinaryContinue reading “A short story for Halloween”

A short story I recently read

‘And Later, His Ghost’, by Sarah Hall Read it here in about 30 minutes. Thinking about imagery as plot… I recently read Hall’s short story collection Madame Zero, in which this story features. It’s an unusual collection; the first and last stories seem to be about the same characters and event, but one takes aContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently read

‘The Man on the Stairs’ by Miranda July Read it here in about 10 minutes. Thinking about time and characterisation… I love this story. In the opening, the narrator wakes to hear someone on the stairs outside her bedroom. We have this repetition and extension of things she can hear and feel, which demonstrates herContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently re-read

‘We Wave and Call’ by Jon McGregor Available here. Read it in 30 minutes. Thinking about how structure and themes interact… The story begins after the young man’s death, in the present tense (simple and continuous). For me, the opening creates a sense of detachment – it’s a combination of the use of present tense;Continue reading “A short story I recently re-read”

A novella I recently read

Anthem, by Ayn Rand. Read it here. Thinking about use of grammatical person… Rand was born in Russia, but later emigrated to America. She wrote Anthem in 1937, as a warning about the dangers of communism (or any type of collectivism). The novella has aged well, in my opinion, because the world in which itsContinue reading “A novella I recently read”