So, today I bring you a guest post from Stephen D. Rogers, whose debut book of stories Shot to Death is available from Mainly Murder Press. In this post, he explains how he came up with the opening line for one of the book's stories.
SHOT TO DEATH Blog March They say blondes are dumb but then they also say that crime doesn't pay. - ITCHING FOR SCRATCH So begins one of the 31 stories contained in SHOT TO DEATH (ISBN 978-0982589908). Within that beginning lurks the ending to the story and everything that happens between the beginning and the end. Or at least it seems that way to me. What we have here is bad logic. The assumption seems to be that since people are wrong about crime not paying, they're also wrong about blondes being dumb. While it's been a long time since I studied logic, that reasoning seems faulty. Grid the statements out, and there are four possibilities. Dumb and not paying. Dumb and paying. Not dumb and paying. Not dumb and not paying. And while I know that blondes are not dumb, the particular blonde in the story may well be, just as the typically not-paying crime may in this story pay, or vice versa. Now complicate the matter by going three-dimensional. Is the narrator blonde or not blonde? Complicate the matter even further by throwing in bleached blonde. At least we can be fairly certain the narrator is a woman, since "blonde with an e" is generally used to refer to women and "blond without an e" is generally used to refer to either sex. Unless the narrator is from Britain, where "blonde with an e" is used to refer to both sexes. At this point, I'm scratching my head. Obviously, maybe, this story is going to be driven by wacky logic, the same type of wacky logic that makes people say, "Well, someone has to win the lottery" and "If you don't play, you can't win" as if playing means you're going to win and, anyway, aren't you part of the subset "someone"? So I've got a narrator who is a blonde or non-blonde or bleach-blonde woman or Britain who will commit a crime that may or may not lead to a lottery payoff. All that remains is the writing. For a chance to win a signed copy of SHOT TO DEATH, click on over to http://www.stephendrogers.com/