“You Are Reading This Story” published in the This Is Too Tense anthology

My second-person psychological horror story You Are Reading This Story has been published in the This Is Too Tense charity anthology by Bag of Bones Press. The story is an ouroboros: the reader is the writer reading the story he is writing, as he considers how to write the story he is reading.

It’s a challenging concept that I’ve rewritten at least a dozen times trying to get it right, which is ironic since the story is about a writer slowly going insane as he constantly rewrites a story while trying to get it right. Imagine The Yellow Wallpaper written by Christopher Nolan and adapted by Charlie Kaufman, and you might come close to the vibe I was going for.

It was originally titled Recursion, then Revision, then This Story Begins At The End, before it finally landed on You Are Reading This Story. It expanded from 100 words, to 300 words, to 560 words, and changed from third person, to first person, to second person point of view. It was also rejected 15 times across four different versions along the way.

Switching the POV to second person was actually the key that unlocked the concept fully for me, so I was thrilled when I saw Bag of Bones’ call for second person stories. I’m so happy someone finally got what I was trying to do with the story.