Story of the Week #1 — “6.5” by Ian Murphy

I want this blog/website/whatchyacallit to be a place of discourse, of conversations about good writing. The best way I know to start a conversation about good writing is to read good writing, and so I have decided to scour the Internet once a week for well-written, visceral, free (!) short stories that we can all learn from. Here is the first week’s offering.

The literary magazine A Clean, Well-Lighted Place is a relatively young journal “dedicated to featuring new, emerging, and established writers,” which is a pretty generic mission statement. However generic the description, the work on this website did not disappoint. I discovered this journal a couple weeks ago. Highlighted right now on their “Fiction” page is a story called “6.5” by Ian Murphy. Here is the link:

http://www.lightedplace.com/65.html

What I love about this story is the concise manner in which we are brought into the story, carried through it, and dumped out of it–a reader can feel a whole lifetime of memories and emotions happening in the span of barely a page, even though the events of the story take place over a couple days (maybe). Murphy didn’t use long sweeping passages of prose to reach his point. The umph at the end of the story is poetic, emotional, sympathetic. The sentence “I had never heard of that part of the brain before” still gives me chills.

What do you think about Murphy’s story?

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2 thoughts on “Story of the Week #1 — “6.5” by Ian Murphy

  1. That random (and initially confusing) rhythm is superb. It makes a lot of assumptions about the reader’s understanding that are borne out. I loved it. And I’m sure it must be based on something very powerful and true. Those blurts of info are how we remember things. Thanks for how you’re doing this – it’s fabulous.

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