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  1. 1. When Is a Time Shift Appropriate?
  2. Very Short Story Contest Logo
  3. Best short story in Stephen Kings Night Shift?
  4. Night Shift (short story collection) - Wikipedia

Work, for Thorpe, is not just a matter of occupation, but of occupational hazards. His characters often come to sticky ends in not-so-accidental industrial accidents. In 'Bodywork' a car obsessive dies mysteriously; in 'Sawmill' a Conradian figure sacrifices his arm to appease an African tree god; in 'Iron' a woman is crippled while sitting on the wrought-iron seat her husband has forged for her.

1. When Is a Time Shift Appropriate?

Other protagonists are enslaved or deformed by their professions. In 'Business' a saleswoman is determined to build on the family farm one of the swimming pools she sells, despite her sister's dying wish to preserve the home intact; in 'Bins' a dustman recalls his tragicomic career; while the hero of 'Debauchery' is a Parisian ragpicker. The uncompromising Thorpe, now in his early forties, fled the corruptions of the s London literary scene to live in a French farmhouse. He is hardly provincial, though: his tales are set in wartime or postwar France and Germany, in Australia and Africa, or among Asian and African immigrants in Britain.

Thorpe is fascinated by craftsmanship. And it is for his uncanny ability to mimic not merely their accents, vocabulary and tone, but also their thought processes that this collection is outstanding. Adam Thorpe has a playwright's gift for voices. Ulverton revealed this with its brilliant mimicry of historical registers, its care for local language and landscape, its bitter elegiac passion for the voices and crafts of the past.

Still , though far too long, displayed an uncanny vocal range too, with its mix of grimly empty postmodern chic and painstaking recreation of Edwardian tonalities. Pieces of Light showed what a fine memory Thorpe has for voice, as he fished in his childhood past in Cameroon for the old tales he'd been told by the Africans. Shifts is more than a collection of short stories - it is a fine demonstration of this power to shift from voice to voice. Thorpe has been careful not to publish merely a series of disconnected tales.

All the stories in Shifts share the same topic: work. We get the mason's tale, the glass worker's tale, the mechanic's tale Thorpe is examining exactly how far individuals are locked into ideology and culture through the work they do. His ecological belief has him concentrate particularly on the industries that most remorselessly destroy pastoral-human value in the world. The businessmen who ruin Ulverton are satirised again, this time in the guise of a swimming-pool saleswoman shown cruelly mangling the family farm in order to spite her "green" sister's dying wishes.

A traveller with old-fashioned mason's skills is ripped off in entrepreneurial France and made to do breeze blocks.

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A young Asian boy is maimed physically and psychologically by his job in a neon factory. More interesting than these rather soap-boxy ecological parables are the work stories which dwell on stranger and more fearful forms of complicity. Thorpe has lived in France for 10 years now, and is clearly concerned to explore the darker side to Europe: 'Tyres' is about the costs of doing business in occupied France, the extraordinary 'Iron' looks hard at the ordinary Germans who tacitly followed Hitler.

There are structural threads running through the tales too, alongside the shared theme of work and complicity in a dark world: in each we get an unreliable narrator reflecting on some victim of whatever system the work involves.

So we get a nasty rep being unctuous about his dead mechanic brother in 'Bodywork', but revealing murderous impulses at every slip of the tongue. A blowsy girlfriend enthuses about her partner's skills in making model boats, but harsh tones of triumph colour her tale of his decline into alcoholism. These tales are brilliant exercises in dramatic monologue, more Bennett than Browning. More intriguing are the narrators who don't even begin to understand the stories they are telling, like the bin-man who is taunted with visions of pornography in a house with a dark mirror-window, or the callow American who encounters a bizarre tramp in existential Paris, or the sawyer who tells the tale of a sawmill manager who goes to the limits of primitive bloodletting.

Munro begins almost all of her stories in a particular moment that takes place long before or after its primary timeframe. The climactic moment of a fiction affects not only that moment but every moment that came before and all that will come after. Like a stone dropped into a pond, it ripples outward. Nothing is the same once the climax has occurred.

Remember that your main goal is to keep your fiction moving ever forward. The key is to ensure each time shift occurs at the right moment in your fiction.

Not only are we products of everything that has gone before in our lives, but our hopes and dreams for the future affect what we do now as well. In other words, the time shift you choose to reveal must color your fiction in some important way at the moment you reveal it. One of the errors I often see in early drafts of novels is a time shift in the first five pages.

Best short story in Stephen Kings Night Shift?

A good rule of thumb is to get at least one-tenth into your narrative before you begin going back in time. This said, time shifts can occur anywhere throughout a fiction. This leads to the next question:. As I said above, the past you choose to reveal must color your fiction in some important way, but more than this, it must color your fiction at this moment in its telling in some important way.

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This particular flashback must matter now , at this particular moment. The front of the nonworking refrigerator serves as impromptu photo display.

Night Shift (short story collection) - Wikipedia

They could hike that trail in their sleep, and in her dreams Franny still does, the sheer drop down to the swirling water below never signifying danger as it ought to but instead something familiar and true. Animals—deer and wolves, he said—had made the trail down to the river, and then the Indians, stalking the animals, widened it with their stealthy footsteps.

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  • Lying From You.
  • Las armas de la hermosura (Spanish Edition).
  • Graveyard Shift (short story).
  • Night Shift.

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