Back-Story and Writing Forward

I treasure the stories I fall in love with, not only as a reader, enjoying them for the terrific stories they are, but also as a writer, trying to learn from them by working out the secret of their magic.

My most recent love is “Reception” by Nona Caspers that appears in the Spring 2013 issue of The Kenyon Review.

There are a whole slew of reasons why I fell for this story: the striking image at the beginning, the way every detail echoes and reverberates with other details, the oddness of the details and images, the beautiful, clever ending that both illuminates the narrator’s experience and goes beyond it. But I especially love it for the pointers it gives me about back-story and writing forward. Continue reading