Get More out of any short story - WordPress.com

GCC CRW Workshop Saturday, September 13, 2014 Agenda Welcome, Intros and Announcements Flash Fiction Definitions Extended Definitions Flash Fiction Myths (to Dispel) Rules Characteristics Flash Fiction Stories: August Night How To Touch A Bleeding Dog Sandy The Stones Chapter VII Analysis: Three to Five Stories Sequence Read Flash Fiction (out loud)

Discuss each story per How To Get More Questions Apply Lessons Learned to Your Writing (~5 min) Six-Word Novels Q&A Upcoming Events Free Association Open Mic Poetry Series Featuring Jenna Duncan & Shawnte Orion Wednesday September 17th Glendale Community College FREE and open to the public Open mic starts at 7pm Hosted by Jared Duran

Student Union room 104) Midnight Metaphors Open to all GCC students interested in writing Share your work with other writers Get feedback on your writing and ideas. Discover new material and styles and hang for awhile with other writers Appreciate great writers and writing and investigate a variety of techniques st 1 and 3rd Wednesdays FIRST MEETING WED SEPT 17 2:30 3:30 Rm 05-142 (ENG Faculty Bldg) Where can you keep up with all thats happening?!?!? www.gccazcrw.wordpress.com FOLLOW us! Size Matters: Flash Fiction Rules! GCC Creative Writing Second Saturday Series September 13, 2014

Gary Lawrence Instructor, English/CRW Glendale Community College [email protected] Postcard Fiction SmokeLong PalmSized Flash Fiction MicroStory Short Shorts Micro Fiction

A Rose By Any Other Name Nanofiction Micro Narrative Sudden Fiction Miniatures Short Short Story Micr-O Fiction (Oprah July 2006) Flash Fiction Defined

a style of fictional literature of extreme brevity (Wikipedia) a story that will fit on two facing pages of a digest-sized literary-magazine (James Thomas, Editor, Flash Fiction: Seventy-Two Very Short Stories) a story that is finished before the reader has time to finish smoking a cigarette (Chinese) trying to tell a story with the absolute minimum of words (Wikipedia) Flash fiction is a form thatadheres more than any other narrative form to Hemingways famous iceberg dictum: Only show the top 10 percent of your story, and leave the other 90 percent below water to be conjured. Grant Faulkner, executive director of National Novel Writing Month [A] form [of fiction that] speaks to the singularity of stray moments by calling attention to the spectral blank spaces around them G. Faulkner a complete[but] compressed short story Catherine Sustana, About.com Most often, flash fiction = a story thats 1000 words or less; or, the generic name for that brief short fiction form Flash Fiction: Re-Defined "My idea of a career is never to write a phony line, never fake, never cheat, never be sucked into the y.m.c.a. movements of the

moment, and to give them as much literature in a book as any son of a bitch has ever gotten into the same number of words. -- Ernest Hemingway Where Does Flash Fiction Fit on the Literary Spectrum? Novel (30-40K+) Short Story (3-20K) Prose Poems (1 - ??) Reflection Vignette Six-Word

Stories/ Novels Poetry (1+) th g n Le in W ds r o Novella (10-30K)

Short Short Story (1K-3K) Flash Fiction (>1K) Nanofiction, Micro-Fiction (1-300) A story thats 1000 words or less. Flash Fiction (generic) Where Does Flash Fiction Fit on the Literary Spectrum? A Good Man Is

Hard to Find OConnor (6472) Art of Composition Poe (4609) The Lottery Jackson Allegory of (3300) The Cave Plato (1950) ds Declaration of Independence Jefferson (1338) Preamble to US

Constitution (52) Chapter VII In Our Time Hemingway (135) th g n Le in W or Hands Anderson

(2355) Novel (30-40K+) The Lady With the Dog Chekhov (6731) A&P Updike (2835) Indian Camp Hemingway (1459) A Very Short Story Hemingway (750) The Gettysburg Address

Lincoln (271) Poetry Complete, Brief, Intense, With a Sense of Urgency and a Twist Myths About Flash Fiction No one comes to a workshop on Flash Fiction. Flash fiction is not popular. Flash fiction is for beginners. Flash fiction is easier to write than longer stories. Flash fiction is easier to analyze than a regular short story. Flash fiction cant address the complex issues other stories can. You shouldnt read flash fiction if you write short stories, poems, novels or creative nonfiction. You cant learn anything about writing by studying and writing flash fiction. What are the Rules for Writing Short Stories? 1. Start in the middle of things; start in motion. 2. Stay in motion by not letting the summary intrude. 3. Never explain too much a story loses its suspense the moment everything is

explained. 4. Stay out of your story; pick a point of view and stick with it. Nobody has less right in your story than yourself. 5. Don't show off in your style. The writing should match the characters and the situation, not you. 6. Nothing is to be gained, except a breaking of the dramatic illusion, by attempts to find substitutes for the word "said" in dialogue tags. "Said" is a colorless word that disappears; elegant variations show up. 7. Stopping a story is as hard as saying goodnight. Learn to do it cleanly. 8. Revise! Revise! Revise! Stegner. On Teaching and Writing Fiction. Adapted. pp. 94-95. Flash Fiction = Stories = All These Rules, on Steroids Characteristics of Flash Fiction Beginning, middle and end complete Emphasis on plot Brevity (very) compressed Twist or surprise ending (often) Intensity minimal and rapid trajectory part of the appeal and challenge

Total unified singular effect Fiction That Matters Like all fiction that matters the success {of flash fiction stories} depends not on their length but on their depth, their clarity of vision, their human significance the extent to which the reader is able to recognize in them the real stuff of real life. James Thomas Exploring Flash Fiction Read each story (at least three):

August Night Joyce Carol Oates (702 words) How To Touch A Bleeding Dog Rod Kessler (749) Sandy Brian Doyle (709) The Stones Richard Shelton (389) Chapter VII Ernest Hemingway (135) The Six Word Novel Hemingway and others Analyze each story (10 questions) Define who, what, when, where (save how and why for later). Which character changed the most? From what to what? Who tells the story? What words or images are repeated? What ideas are suggested in the opening? In the close? In both? Is the story in chronological order or not? Describe the writing style. Does this style add or detract? How? What sticks with you most from this story? How did this story make you feel? How does this story compare to other stories youve read? What writing technique(s) can you take away and use in your own writing?

We may touch on Whats this story about? but were more interested n how the writer did what they did and how each story element supports the others. Six-Word Stories William Faulkner famously said that a novelist is a failed short story writer, and a short story writer is a failed poet. Hemingway, the story goes, once challenged his drinking buddies to come up with the shortest novel they could. His creation set the standard for the six-word story: For sale: Baby shoes, never worn. Ernest Hemingway Authors are still trying to meet or beat Hemingways intensity. Here are a few more: Longed for him. Got him. Shit. Margaret Atwood Without thinking, I made two cups. Alistair Daniel Revenge is living well, without you. Joyce Carol Oates For six-word nonfiction, Smith Magazine is well known for its six-word memoir collections, most notably Not Quite

What I Was Planning. -- Sustana Narrative Magazine has a regular six-word story contest an features. References/More Info Going long. Going short. Grant Faulkner. NYT. 9/30/2013. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/30/going-long-going-short/ Narrative. www.narrativemagazine.com/ NPR. Three-Minute Fiction Contest. (600 words). Listen and read. www.npr.org/series/105660765/three-minute-fiction Short and Sweet: Reading and Writing Flash Fiction. Amanda Kristy Brown and Katherine Shulten. Oct 3, 2013. NYT blog. http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/03/short-and-sweet-reading-and-writing-flash-fiction/? _php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 Sustana, Catherine. What is Flash Fiction? Little Stories that Pack a Big Punch. About.com. Short Stories. http://shortstories.about.com/od/Flash/a/What-Is-Flash-Fiction.htm OToole, Garson. For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Used. The Quote Investigator: Exploring the Origins of Quotations. January 28, 2013. http://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/01/28/baby-shoes/ Questions?

Answers? What Can We Learn from Flash Fiction? Complete (Unto Itself) Read Better Write Better Read like a writer. Write for the reader. Intense; Sense of Urgency Writing something short that is good is harder than writing something long.

Questions to Explore How short can a short story be and still truly be a story? What can we learn from reading and writing flash fiction? The minimal and rapid trajectory of flash fiction is part of its appeal and challenge. The times were good. Also bad. A Tale of Two CitiesA Tale of Two Cities Kids sneak around, get married, die. A Tale of Two CitiesRomeo and Juliet Desperate, noble poor get shafted. Repeatedly. The Grapes of Wrath Characteristics (Sustana) Brevity. Regardless of the specific word count, flash fiction attempts to condense a story into the fewest words possible. To look at it another way, flash fiction tries to tell the biggest, richest, most complex story possible within a certain word limit. A beginning, middle, and end. In contrast to a vignette or reflection, most flash fiction tends to emphasize plot. While there are certainly exceptions to this rule, telling a complete story is part of the excitement of working in this condensed form.

A twist or surprise at the end. Again, there are plenty of exceptions to this rule, but setting up expectations and then turning them upside down in a short space is one hallmark of successful flash fiction. What Is A Story? Beginning, middle, and end Aristotle, Poetics Able to be read in one sittingfor the intended totality, or unified, effect. Edgar Allen Poe, The Art of Composition (1846) utterly real Max Perkins an attemptto recapture the exact feeling of a moment in time and space exemplified by people rather than things F. Scott Fitzgerald In a short story, you have only so much money to buy just one costume. Not the parts of many. One mistake in the shoes or tie, and youre gone. --- Fitzgerald Prose fiction is, in essence, the realization of an elusive abstract vision in elaborate and painstaking construction, sentence by sentence, word by word. Joyce Carol Oates The short story is closer in spirit to the poem than to the novel. Rick DeMarinis, The Art and Craft of the Short Story This is [my confession]: I dont know how to write a short storybut I can tell you how a short story can go wrong. -- DeMarinis Every story makes its own rules. -- DeMarinis

Flash fiction = first and foremost, a story Shortest Novel a six -word novel (For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn. OToole, Garson. For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Used. The Quote Investigator: Exploring the Origins of Quotations. January 28, 2013. http://shortstories.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=shortstories&cdn =entertainment&tm=24&f=00&su=p284.13.342.ip_&tt=65&bt=4&bts=4&zu= http%3A//quoteinvestigator.com/2013/01/28/baby-shoes/ What is a Story? A beginning, middle, and an end Aristotle, Poetics Able to be read in one sittingfor a total, unified effect. -- Poe, Philosophy of Composition

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