Alida, Matt, and Kathryn continue the short story series with part 2. We discuss “The Birth Will Take Place on a Mutually Acceptable Research Vessel” by Matthew Bailey, getting into science fiction, narrative language, second person POV, and thematic meaning.

Check out the story here.

Show Notes:

Taking a look at “The Birth Will Take Place on a Mutually Acceptable Research Vessel” by Matthew Bailey, we talk about why Kathryn picked this story, and what it is really all about. Why would a man write from the point of view of a pregnant woman? And does the second person work for us? What hooks readers, and how does the author get them to empathize with this uncomfortable narrator? Even with Matt’s hesitation over whether or not he likes the story, we still laugh at the humor and appreciate the twist at the end.

What we talked about:

Why Kathryn picked this story. (0:28)

Why did a white man write a story from the point of view of a pregnant woman? (1:48)

Is it harder to engage and be empathetic with a person in 2nd person if you can’t have that experience or shared it with someone you love? (3:38)

What got you into the story? (4:05)

What are the hooks in this story? (6:58)

How did the author build empathy around the main character in second person? (8:07)

Why did the author choose 2nd person over say 1st person? (8:55)

How much world building is too much? (14:48)

How does the language change our perception of the story? (16:16)

How does the humor engage us in the story? (19:10)

How does the twist change the theme of the story? (21:32)

Things we mentioned:

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Chuck Palahniuk

“Lover” by Alida Winternheimer (2nd person short-short story)

 

Have thoughts, questions, other examples? Join the conversation at the Story Works Writers Facebook group.

 

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