This is How You Do It: Stop Using the Word “Story”

This is How You Do It: Stop Using the Word “Story”


You need to know this: I never forget my students. I forget their names, but never their faces, and I usually remember their stories.

When my essay came out in The Millions, I read the comments with fascination and interest. One of the comments was from a former student of mine, “Liz B,” who wrote, “You may not remember me…”

Actually, I remember her very well. She took me for Intermediate Fiction the horrible summer I quit smoking. Indeed, she mentions in the comment that I once yelled at her. (I’m really sorry Liz. I was a real basket case that summer.) And she took me for Senior Seminar, a class in which I required students to produce a 50-page manuscript, a Big Thing.

Liz B. writes: “It always drove me crazy having to submit short stories for your classes since all I wanted to do was write a novel.” Continue reading