The Story Behind the Story: “On a Bridge, At Night”

This started as an experiment. I had been discussing the structure of storytelling and the way we spontaneously recount an event: the doubling back, the added and subtracted details, the tangents, the acknowledgment that we may just have things wrong after all. So I sat down to capture that idea – very meta. As with all of my stories, it started with a snapshot image from nowhere, in this case two friends staring into the blackness from a bridge, silently mourning a friend. The cabbie and other details came later as I wrote. I like these characters, despite knowing next to nothing about them…but I think I won’t bother them with future stories.

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About Dean Charpentier

Dean Charpentier is a teacher and writer from North Andover, MA, where he lives with his wife Lori, daughter Taylor, and son JP. A 1990 graduate of Yale, he has been teaching for over twenty five years, and he currently serves as the English Department Chair at Brooks School, where he also holds the F. Fessenden Wilder Chair for the teaching of English. His work has appeared in English Journal, The Andovers Magazine, and now Fiction Southeast.