L to R - Debbi, Bev, June, Adam, Christian, Paul (and grand-daughter), and Michaela who all came along to the last meeting.
It was great to see Michaela again - as she works in the Care Sector getting to meetings was always tricky! Last Saturday, author Debbi ran a Flash Fiction workshop with a difference. This was micro-fiction, roughly the length of a Twitter post. This is what Debbi has to say
'City Voices has been enjoying a kind of resurgence during lockdown, thanks to Zoom. I have been enjoying hosting our fortnightly Zoom session, at which about half a dozen or so members are showing up. We are hoping more will start to join us before things start getting back to normal, and everyone is welcome, even non-members.
On 4th July I hosted a workshop with CV about writing very short stories. Anyone familiar with Twitter will know that posts (or Tweets) are limited to 280 characters. Every day on Twitter, using the hashtag #vss365, people post short, tweet length stories using a daily prompt word, which has to appear in the story. Being a story, these tweets have to be a “complete” thought, with a purpose. It’s tricky, but a great challenge, and teaches brevity and gives you practise in being able to use only the most necessary words. It’s amazing how much can be conveyed in so few words.
Last year, one of my very short stories was published in the first VSS365 anthology. In response to the prompt word “contact”, I wrote:
She has to close her heart when she sees him. Their contact is electric but fleeting; eyes when his finally wander around to meet hers, hands when she’s helping him off the bed, lips if he remembers her. Soon everything will be just crackling echo-memory of love.
You can easily practise these kinds of stories by selecting random words from books or newspapers, and then challenging yourself to write stories of this length. Don’t get too hung up on counting the characters, unless you do actually post them on Twitter. Just limit yourself to 50 words, and get used to being brutal with your word cutting to only leave in what you need to get your point across. You have to see your story as a “fleeting thought” that needs to be conveyed, and a lot of it has to be done by implication rather than spelling everything out. This will become easier the more you practise. You’ll may initially think it impossible because you may reach 50 words before you even start your story properly… well, that just means you have probably written 50 words you don’t need! You will notice in my example above that we don’t know anyone’s name, what they look like, where they are. We are just interested in this connection they have and how it will soon be gone. Simple.
Have a go and we’d love to see your examples posted here in the comments.'