Introduction to the “then they wrote” short story series

Writing no longer happens in isolation. Unlike Hemmingway, Clemens and Woolf, writers no longer sequester themselves to churn out piece after piece. Those who do find little success. Even the most eccentric writers now travel the world and wander the streets, feeding off of what is to create what is not.

I think it’s because we’ve all heard the stories already. I am among those who believe that there are no original stories anymore (and pray every day that I’m wrong). So what makes our most popular modern works so beloved is not novelty, but application. The stories of today take recycled plots with familiar character types and create a new angle.

That is a digression, though, and I apologize. What I’m getting at is that today’s writers can be found walking down the sidewalk, head tilted to one side, amused smirk on the corner of his/her lips. They live out their lives, hypocritically at times yet always enthused and excited to be a part of this world so that they may enjoy or despise it (whatever fits the mood that day).

With heads in the clouds, we miss much yet gain what others often pass: new perspectives. We may trip over the uneven sidewalk, but in doing so realize why (not how) birds fly. We then take these observations, mold them into a paragraph and twitch, giddy with excitement and dread, hoping we can get to a computer or blank piece of paper before our mind moves on to another silly thing.

This is why I started this series of short stories. Writers come in all shapes and experiences. Sometimes, a writer’s life revolves around writing. Other times, writing is simply a by-product of living. The psyche of a writer fascinates me, as I turn my introspection into speculation. We all write these days, be it in small 140 character bursts, or novellas we hope someone will buy, and what I enjoy is the build up to the black and white.

All the stories end in the same inconsequential ending: some variation of “then s/he sat down to write.” Most of the stories would work perfectly fine without it. Yet these endings are simultaneously the point and pointless. The build up to writing isn’t always evident or definable, but it is there. Feel free to disregard the endings when hunting for a meaning. I just ask that whether you consider the ending or not, just don’t ignore them

The stories:

The Old Man

The Balloonist


One thought on “Introduction to the “then they wrote” short story series

  1. Pingback: What do you do? | This is how I avoid an MFA

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