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(Asides) Blog

Feeding the Ducks

I think of myself as a novelist and rarely even recall my published short stories. But I've been contacted recently by students who are studying "Feeding the Ducks" in their Film and Fiction class at Arkansas State University. My answer to a question one student asked may be helpful to anyone new on the writing path, so I provide it below:


Is there a particular reason you choose to set your story where you did?


"Feeding the Ducks" is set in a small town in Western Kentucky. I visited that town a lot as a child and played there with my cousins. I think small towns (and constrained settings in general) are useful places to set fiction. People rub against each other in tight settings in ways they don't in larger ones. My two novels are set mostly in a particular river bottom and an adjacent small town. The novel I'm working on now is set in a park in Nashville. I think you get more opportunities for conflict if you constrict your setting. 

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