A series of essays on writing short stories, timed to coincide with my class “Spellbinding Short Stories” at the 2011 Cape Cod Writer’s Center Conference. — Sallie
My poetry leads me to focus on word choice, the rhythm and sound of language, the flow of sentences—all of which are essential to the success and the intensity of the short story. Fortunately, we are not obliged as short story writers to intrude plot which leaves us free to develop character in all its amazing complexity, and to create voices that are at the same time mysterious and familiar.
My work as a playwright has taught me to use dialogue as a way to illuminate character and to sharpen the edges of conflict. I greatly admire James Joyce’s “Dubliners”, Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, Katherine Mansfield’s “Bliss” and Chekov’s “The Lady and the Pet Dog.”