Thursday, 15 November 2012

Writing Workshop: National Short Story Week

Drake's urban cousins?

This is National Short Story Week, so it may come as no surprise to discover that we were presenting our short stories in the Ipswich Writing Group in Gainsborough Community Library this afternoon.

Gainsborough Community Library, Ipswich

Suzi, a group member, had got us writing all kinds of lists last week, as a means of creating our characters - lists of small items, lists of luxury accoutrements, lists of items in a refrigerator (my character had a door key), and so on ...

It was fun hearing the stories. I used to write the occasional short story, but until this last week, had not done so for quite a while. I sometimes write narrative poems, but these are structured in a very different way. We were given a word count (give or take a few) of 400, and my piece came in at 424. The only problem was that this was only the first half of a short story or perhaps the start of something a bit longer! I wondered about re-drafting it to make it fit the mould, but decided to leave it be until the group members had had the chance to express their feelings or make suggestions.

Nic introduced us to a helpful A-Z of points to consider for writing fiction. 'E', for example, stood for the 'empathy' that one needs to have or develop for one's characters if they are to leap of the page. 

We had a go at crafting a second story in the workshop this afternoon. Thirty minutes was barely sufficient time for me to get down my organic ideas. I ended up with characters, setting and a narrative, but there is no plot to date!

I don't see myself emerging as short story writer, but I always enjoy the chance to flex those writing muscles in a new way. My thanks to Mai and Nic, who led a great session today. My aquatic character, Drake, is still poised on the edge of a loch, so I had better go and rescue him before a certain monster rears its head ...

No comments: