In the English language, we use the same word to describe how we feel about of our favorite dessert as we do for our significant other: love. In “I’ll Be Your Fever” (Big Fiction), Panio Gianopoulos explores the various definitions of love through his protagonist Ted, who’s navigating the
It’s often said that writers must be willing to be cruel to their characters, lest the story they tell lack drama or stakes. In “The Space of Things” (The Cossack Review), Jacinta Escudas (Translated by Samantha Memi) offers a different take on the cold realities of the writer/protagonist relationship.
It’s fairly common to read about fictional protagonists whose past traumas serve as obstacles in their present lives. But often those traumas are at the hands of another, whether a parent, lover, spouse, a childhood bully, or even a childhood friend. In “Nola” (Monkeybicycle), Jacqueline Doyle explores a protagonist
Sometimes in workshops, dreams are spoken of with suspicion, as often through them writers try to awkwardly smuggle in some sort of psychological truth, repressed desire, or foreshadowing of danger. In Stephen Dixon’s, “The Dreamer” (The Southern Review), dreams are the main action and the medium through which the
There’s a difference between what the narrator views as the story and what the reader views as the story. By playing with that distance, writers can illuminate the deeper desires of their characters, revealed by what they choose to focus on in the telling, and what they don’t. In
Rituals, especially those practiced for a long time, often lose meaning for an adherer. Even those rituals that at first glance might seem strange can, over time, have their profundity sucked dry and their practices turn rote. In Ashley Hutson’s flash fiction piece, “The Hen of God,” (The Conium
Despite humanity’s ever-expanding realms of knowledge and increasing mastery over planet earth and its inhabitants, there is still so much beyond our grasp, so much of which we’re ignorant. In “The Storm” (Ninth Letter) by Maria Kuznetsova, a young narrator Sashie must reckon with a world that is becoming more
The opening sentence of many stories goes as follows: I was (insert ordinary activity) when (insert extraordinary occurrence). This setup prepares the reader for a story in which something strange will happen to a character with a fairly conventional life and perspective, most likely altering that character for life.
The primary thread of the Robin Hood myth could be distilled to this: a group of ardent citizens use illegal activities to battle crooked authorities on behalf of powerless citizens. In “Honeymoon Bandits” (Willow Springs) Nick Fuller Googins captures the present day complexities of civil (and uncivil) disobedience, from
The games children play can tell us a lot about ourselves as human beings, regardless of whether we attribute the inspiration behind them more to nature or nurture. In “Fiddlebacks” (New South), Kimberly King Parsons makes good use of the games played by three siblings, exploring what they reveal