It has been more than a few weeks since I last read a New Yorker short story. But when this week’s issue arrived and I saw that Joyce Carol Oates wrote the story I was excited. Last year was the first time I’d ever read anything written by Oates. That’s hard to believe, right? She is amazingly prolific. I’ve still only read three of her stories, but I enjoyed each one of them: the fast pace, the focus on detail, the hint (and sometimes more than just a hint) of violence. I also really enjoyed this week’s story, “I.D.” I think we can learn a lot about pacing, building tension, and capturing the voice of a character. It is about a girl, 13, who is the child of divorce. She has a father who is completely absent and a mother who’s not what I would call dependable. I’m not sure what to make of the ending, however. Is what the girl (Lisette) tells us the truth, or can she just not bear to face reality? I’m an optimist by nature, so I like to think that Lisette dodge a bullet this time.
Archive for March, 2010
When I decided to take crack at writing short stories I focused on writing literary fiction. It seemed like the thing to do. I still like writing those types of stories. But last year I was turned on to Transgressive fiction. You know – sex, violence, crime, the good stuff!
I just wrote my first transgressive short story: “My first time, or, that crazy Jamaican whore.” It was fun! I plan to start sending it around to see if someone is interested in publishing it. Unfortunately, I’m not that familiar with websites or journals that publish this type of fiction. Following is a list I’ve developed, but if you know of other outlets please let me know.
- Thrilling Detective
- Plots with Guns
- Beat to A Pulp
- Pulp Pusher
- Crimespree Magazine
- Thieves Jargon
I’m also reading more Transgressive fiction. The other day I was in the library and checked out a book re-published by Hard Case called The Vengeful Virgin. I did a double take when I saw the cover, as I’m sure you can see why. So far it’s pretty entertaining.