This essay was originally published on August 21, 2015. It is being re-shared in support of LPR’s 10th Anniversary celebration.
The “Concerning Craft” series introduces Little Patuxent Review contributors, showcases their work and draws back the curtain to reveal a little of what went into producing it.
An excerpt from “Lease,” which appears in Little Patuxent Review’s Summer Issue:
What Miss Allens don’t realize is eleven is just two ones next together. Mean, she don’t know basic maths. One and one is two. Followed by a zero means twenty. So I walked right up through her yard, past the sign advertising the bike and slapped a Jefferson in her left hand. She spit into her bucket mean the way she does at strays, and she crumbles it up, tosses it at me. Starts shoutin.
If you really want to hear about it, I have this complex about third person narrators. Who the hell’s talking to me, and where the hell are they?
These are questions I started asking myself a few years ago, when I was first trying to write, feeling a need to justify my tendency toward the first person. There was something repulsive to me about reading a story or novel and picturing the words coming from a writer, narrating from her desk, or—god help me—his favorite coffee shop. I wanted the words to come from somewhere (that at least seemed) real-life. When a character is a narrator, I see them talking to me—something people do every day in my real life. They’re right there. It’s as if I just happened upon them.
NOTE: If you enjoyed this essay, please check out LPR’s Issue 18. https://littlepatuxentreview.org/issues/18-summer-2015/