A few blog posts ago I mentioned how I was a short story writer, and that I would be posting excerpts from my current projects. “Today is Sunday, the start of a new week” I thought to myself, and after a week’s absence from this blog, I decided to start there.
This is the opening paragraph from my short story “Your Average Year.” A bit of history about this story: I completed my first draft of this about two months ago. At the time, it was the longest piece I had written, and was told in the third person. Lately I have been experimenting with POV in my stories, such as shifting character points of view within the same story. Around that time I heard a performance of Jay McInerney‘s story “It’s Six A.M. Do You Know Where You Are?” on the Selected Short podcast. This story, the first chapter in his novel Bright Lights, Big City, is told in the second person. I decided I wanted to try writing in the second person, and this story seemed the best place to start.
You are fond of the black stubble that appears in your reflection every morning, yet the unwritten custom at your new office requires all men to bear smooth, clean faces. At least, this was your impression when you interviewed at that upscale Madison Avenue retailer your final week at Stern. So you shave. You then gel back your thick black hair so it sits like a polished helmet atop your olive-skinned face. You are unfamiliar with this clean-cut version of yourself as you take one final glance in the mirror, next to the door of your new Upper West-Side apartment. Nevertheless, you are content.
This story follows the protagonist (in the third person version, Jamie) through his first job out of college, and the challenges his faces with his boss, his girlfriend, and his struggle to recreate a little piece of his hometown, the fictional Millview, Delaware, in New York City.
I will continue to post more of my fiction along with my other rantings regarding office life, New York, and oatmeal.
More information on Jay McIneney: