We recently published Francine Witte’s thoughtful “Cab Ride.”
Here, we ask her two questions about her story:
1) That opening sentence is such a great way to introduce us to this narrator, that they think of both numbers and love as made-up things. What do they believe in, do you suppose?
This narrator is cynical of most things when the story begins. Having been disappointed in love, they believe that love is not a real thing, but a made-up thing in the same way that humans developed numbers as a way to count things. To narrator, there is probably nothing that truly exists except that we decided it exists.
2) I like, too, that we’re never really told what the situation is, but we are given hints: “My mother, of course, is dying,” the cab driver’s 5-year-old daughter. This is such a subtle style of storytelling! Were you ever tempted to out-and-out tell the reader exactly what is going on?
No, I am never tempted to explain more. I like saying as little as possible. You can say very little and the reader will get it. I like reading stories that work that way. When I read a story like that, I feel like I’m part of the construction of the story. The trick is to find the right thing to say. But that’s what makes the writing fun.