As a reader, I drop out of a novel or even a short story as soon as I sense that the writer has a scheme and is overarranging things. I’ve had it with the masterminded. That’s just my own prejudice, obviously, but I’m the same way about humor: I don’t want to wait through a setup for the punch line: I want one one-liner after another: I want the upshot, I want everything to feel final from the first, I want the conclusion. I don’t need to know what it took to get there; I only need to know that there’s nowhere else to go. Gary Lutz.
forthcoming work by Mae Saslaw