Oven Game – Paul A. Hamilton

The oven door creaks open, revealing the grimy, sweat-tracked face of a girl just past her seventh birthday. Opening an oven from the inside is difficult for a child, but Drea Kane has had practice. She crawls into the unfamiliar house and dusts off her black knit dress. Her grease-caked tights are living up to their name, squeezing her calves. She rubs the underside of her nose with a wrist; the streak of wetness finds…

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A question for Paul A. Hamilton

Q: Have you ever consciously written a ‘message’ story? Was it easier or harder than usual?

A: I have occasionally written ‘message’ stories; although I generally feel that any stories should have something to say when it’s deemed complete. But there is a difference between teasing out a theme and point of view from a story during revision and going into the writing process with a particular message in mind. I think in some ways writing to a particular message can make the writing easier because you can infuse scenes and characters with aspects that build on the message and that can be easier than trying to edit them in after the fact (for me, I find it makes for fewer darlings that need to be killed later on). But unless I have the bones of the story and the theme both established ahead of time, it does sometimes shift the challenge from the editing process to the initial writing as I find sometimes I have something to say but lack the details necessary to say it in a fresh and interesting way.


Paul A. Hamilton’s story “Oven Game” was published on Friday, 18 August 2017.
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About Paul A. Hamilton

Paul A. Hamilton is a writer, editor, and technologist living in Northern California with his wife and two daughters. His stories feature broken people, reassembled worlds, beautiful monsters, and hideous love. He gets his inspiration by impersonating an old-timey bartender, listening to stories told by lonely strangers. When not writing, he can be found reading, drawing, taking photographs, or riding roller coasters.

More from him can be found at ironsoap.com, and @ironsoap.


Paul A. Hamilton’s story “Oven Game” was published on Friday, 18 August 2017.
Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.