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.
Today’s First Two Pages essay rounds out a series of posts by contributors to the new anthology The Best Laid Plans, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. Chris Wheatley is a fiction writer, journalist, and musician based in Oxford, England. His nonfiction has appeared in publications including The Guardian, Prog Rock Central, Under the Radar, and he is a regular contributor to Shindig! Magazine and Line of Best Fit. As for fiction publications, you can find his short fiction in the anthologies Urban Crime Short Stories and The Spell Books, Volume 2: Creatures. With his First Two Pages essay below, enjoy a glimpse at his latest short story, and discover more about all Chris’s work at his website here.
And don’t miss the two previous essays by other contributors to The Best Laid Plans: Lisa de Nikolits and Mary Dutta.
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.Wheatley-True-Cost-First-Two-Pages
I received 71 submissions for this anthology, with the view to selecting 20. Chris’s story was one of the first picked. I loved being in the narrator’s head, and the ending is beyond clever! Thanks Art for hosting us again today. The Best Laid Plans thanks you 🙂
Great essay, Chris! This makes me want to read the rest of the story, pronto. I also love the term “magpie-mind.” It’s perfect.