The best story I ever wrote came about this summer of all summers. It’s called “Animals with Nowhere to Go.” I’m still working on it. This has been a year that makes it nearly impossible for writers to end their stories. I read that compendium of fiction published in the July 12, 2020 New York Times Sunday Magazine section. None of those pieces seemed to end properly. I can only imagine each writer — great writers! great stories! — had to fight hard to stay away from endings that finish with question marks.
I’m having a difficult time figuring out what tense to use as I write this essay because I can’t tell if what we’ve lived through is still being lived or whether we are actually on to something else.
There are things you depend on in order to create fiction that actually means something. Those things had vanished for most of us by the middle of 2020. We were in new territory. This year may well be as close to chaos and Kurtzian horror as we’ve ever been (although I’m beginning to have grave concerns for 2021 as well).Continue reading “Two Days Before the Election: Careful With Your Endings”