The First Two Pages: “Wildfire” by Kathy A. Norris

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.

We’re just over a week from the start of Bouchercon and some more official celebrating for the new anthology Killin’ Time in San Diego, edited by Holly West—and it’s been a great pleasure to host three First Two Essays by anthology contributors so far: Emilya Naymark on her story “Girl of Gold”; Mary Keenan on “The Canadians”; and J.R. Sanders on “Dead Even.” And wrapping up the series this week, we’re welcoming Kathy A. Norris with the opening to her story “Wildfire”—and a clever approach to introducing characters to readers quickly and efficiently. See the essay and excerpt below.

While this series has featured four contributors, let’s give another shout-out to all the other authors featured here: Kathleen L. Asay, Jennifer Berg, C.W. Blackwell, Wesley Browne, Anne-Marie Campbell, L.H. Dillman, John M. Floyd, Kim Keeline, Richie Narvaez, James Thorpe, Tim P. Walker, Victoria Weisfeld, and Désirée Zamorano.

And hope everyone’s packing their bags for San Diego—looking forward to seeing folks next week! (Yikes! I’m not ready myself!)

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.