In his installment of our Ten Questions series, Jamel Brinkley talks about developing the characters of his short story collection Witness (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2023) who are faced with the ethics of being an observer or bystander in a changing New York City landscape. “The collection gathers characters who, in many cases, fail to perceive or fail to act,” he writes. “One challenge was to find ways around their perceptual limitations and deliver stories that were still vivid, sharp, true, and full of feeling.” This week write a story in which a character witnesses a conflict or accident. What does their ability, or inability, to act in the moment say about them?

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Author: Writing Prompter

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  • August 18, 2023