You’ve probably heard it before: never end a story with the phrase “it was all a dream.” Unfortunately for the person who taught you this rule, many classic stories (including Anna Karenina) take place at least partially in dreams. In the NYRB, Francine Prose investigates the trope in fiction.
One of the struggles of being a writer is that everyone else is trying to turn your life into a story. Rebecca Makkai comments on well-intentioned friends who suggest story ideas at Ploughshares. Read a piece of her story (or screenplay) below: “WRITER: So I was like, 'Excuse me, are you with the Secret Service?' and she’s like— NEIGHBOR’S BOYFRIEND: Wait, wait, have you written this down? Aren’t you a writer? This would make a great story!”