If you think of Gordon Lish, now best known for editing Raymond Carver’s work, as an “eccentric editor; tyrannical teacher; notorious provocateur,” you may need to take a second look.
In a roundtable for the Center for Fiction’s Literarian, David Winters, Greg Gerke, Jason Lucarelli use Lish as a gateway to discussion of issues of style in the work of many fiction writers. A preview:
The “attack sentence”—the first sentence in a story—seems to be the assault of the writer’s spirit onto the reader’s. It is like we are answering the question “What are you hiding?” with that first sentence.