In April 2015, B.K. Stevens debuted the blog series “The First Two Pages,” hosting craft essays by short story writers and novelists analyzing the openings of their own work. The series continued until just after her death in August 2017, and the full archive of those essays can be found at Bonnie’s website. In November 2017, the blog series relocated to my website, and the archive of this second stage of the series can be found here.
Rounding out a short series featuring contributors to Crime Travel: Stories of Crime and Time Travel, Adam Meyer offers us a glimpse at both the inspirations behind his story “The Fourteenth Floor” and the craft choices he made in the first two pages to develop character, set the stakes, and hook the reader. The full story is terrific (I started reading the anthology after the launch last week), and it’s a joy to hear from Adam directly about where the idea came from and how he began pulling the pieces together.
Adam is an accomplished writer in several directions—short story writer, novelist, and screenwriter—and he’s got a keen sense of how to structure stories, how to navigate pacing, and how to keep his audience engaged. A session on writing screenplays he did a few years ago for our local chapter of Sisters in Crime was insightful—eye-opening really for those us wanting a glimpse behind those scenes. But it’s just as much fun to forget the behind the scenes and be a reader (or viewer!) of Adam’s work—settling in and enjoying a master at work. After the preview of “The Fourteenth Floor” below, I hope you’ll want to check out the full story yourself.
Crime Travel was edited by Barb Goffman and features stories by a nice array of writers—veterans and relative newcomers alike. The full contributors list includes Melissa H. Blaine, James Blakey, Michael Bracken, Anna Castle, Brendan DuBois, David Dean, John M. Floyd, Barb Goffman, Heidi Hunter, Eleanor Cawood Jones, Adam Meyer, Barbara Monajem, Korina Moss, Art Taylor (that’s me!), and Cathy Wiley. Over the last couple of weeks, the First Two Pages has also hosted Melissa H. Blaine discussing her story “Living on Borrowed Time” and Heidi Hunter talking about “No Honor Among Thieves.”
Please use the arrows and controls at the bottom of the embedded PDF to navigate through the essay. You can also download the essay to read off-line.Meyer-Fourteenth-Floor