I explored the literary technique Voice in two previous blogs. This week, for my short story review, I found two stories with female narrators telling the tale in first person, but resulting in very different voices.
Tourniquet by Liam Hogan is beautifully succinct. The short story appearing in the Mystery Weekly August 2017 issue is a little over 800 words. The narrator Jane claims she doesn't understand her boss's verbose instructions, but it's clear she knows exactly what happens in the office later that night.
Charles Petheridge-Smythe sits on the edge of my desk.
I do not understand. He uses too many words. Even his name has too many words. He talks around what he wants.
In a completely different style, The Cycopaths by Judy Penz Sheluk appears in the Kings River Life July 29 issue. The author captures the competitive nature of a women's triathlon team. A much longer story at over 2,800 words, it flows just as nicely.
These lines sum up the team:
You might think a women's only triathlon club would be kinder and gentler than a mixed or all male group, but you'd be wrong. Get together any group of type-A personalities and there's bound to be some drama, especially if they're in the same five-year age bucket.
A woman drowns, and the narrator ponders whether one of her teammates might have killed a potential competitor.
Tourniquet uses first person narration and short, choppy sentences. The Cycopaths is also told in first person, with more traditional sentence structure and length. Although using very different story-telling styles, resulting in distinctive voices, both set up clues and suspects in traditional mystery style.
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