Review of Jay Knioum, “Trich”, in Myths, Monsters, and Mutations, edited by Jessica Augustsson (JayHenge Publications, 2017): 99-100. — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)
There are two ways to introduce a 3rd person POV short story — name the character in the first paragraph, and then switch to the relevant pronoun, or refer to the character by pronoun in the first paragraph, and name the character in the second paragraph. Knioum’s story opts for the latter option, which I always find a little bit strange. The use of the pronoun rather than the name distances the reader at the very point when we need to be drawn in. If we’re going to be told the character’s name, why not in the opening paragraph?
When a story is as short as this one, there isn’t much time to get the reader invested. At two pages, I found that things were only just getting going when suddenly they ended, leaving me a bit perplexed. I’ll say this, though — the capping illustration was well-paired with the story, and when I saw it, a lightbulb dawned. “Oh….it’s that story!”