Art Taylor took over the blog series “The First Two Pages” from B.K. Stevens after her death in 2017. This popular series features essays that analyze the openings of short stories and novels – hence the name “first two pages.”
When it came time for me to analyze the first two pages of “Riviera Red,” I had a difficult time initially. Mostly because I had so many stops and starts when writing this story that I had forgotten why I decided to open the story the way that I did. After going through my very early drafts and copious notes and research, I was able to recall “oh yeah, that’s how I thought the story would go but Janice [my eventual main character] refused to stay silent.” Thankfully, I didn’t delete all those early drafts or throw away my notes!
My friend and co-editor, E.A. Aymar, writes a column for the Washington Independent Review of Books. His latest features short stories and he asked two very talented short story writers, Art Taylor and Tara Laskowski (who by the way are also in The Swamp Killers!) to name their favorites. Oh, and he also asked me.
So if you want an escape from all this craziness but still find it difficult to break away too long from the endless updates, then a short story is your answer!
Read the column for some excellent recommendations. I don’t really have a favorite short story but I do have a favorite short story writer. Read on to find out who!