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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 575 Response

Bewildering Stories discusses

Run or Roll?

In J. Daniel Batt’s “Run Like You’re on Fire”:

  1. Why does the character “you” feel threatened? Is “you” a pyromaniac or a pyrokinetic?
  2. The second-person point of view is extremely rare in fiction. Why? What would be the effect of a first- or third-person point of view in this scenario?
  3. All the main verbs in the story are in which mood: declarative, interrogative or imperative?
  4. Why should the title be taken figuratively? What should you do if you were literally on fire?

[Heather Frederick] Oh, this occurred to me after I read your Challenge: Of course you “Stop Drop and Roll” if you’re REALLY on fire.

But I still loved that flash fiction piece... The second person voice grabbed me, although second person usually throws me off. And I sympathized instantly with the “you” as a young, scared, pyrokinetic girl. Obviously it’s a different story if the “you” is a pyromaniac, and the author does leave open that possibility.

[Don W.] Thank you, Heather! “Run Like You’re on Fire” is very interesting for a number of reasons. For example:

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