Writing Short Fiction

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Workshop on fiction writing.

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Writing Short Fiction

  1. 1. Writing Short Fiction A Workshop for Beginning Writers By Dominique Gerald M. Cimafranca villageidiotsavant.blogspot.com This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Philippines License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ph/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.
  2. 2. “Story is the basic unit of human thought.”
  3. 3. “Fiction is not the opposite of Truth; the opposite of Fiction is Fact. “Good Fiction contains an element of Truth.”
  4. 4. “Truth is a matter of the Imagination.”
  5. 5. Elements of Fiction Plot Characters Point-of-View Setting Theme Style
  6. 6. Start with a Character... ...throw her into a Situation... ...then Complicate things...
  7. 7. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. on Writing Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action. Start as close to the end as possible.
  8. 8. Take a hint from poetry Image & Metaphor
  9. 9. Starting with Flash Fiction ...fiction of extreme brevity... ...300 to 1,000 words... ...sometimes even less... ...55 Fiction (55 words) ...Drabble (100 words) ...69er (69 words) ...or even just six words...
  10. 10. Attributed to Hemingway “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
  11. 11. Very Short Stories (Wired Magazine) “Longed for him. Got him. Shit.” --Margaret Atwood “The baby's blood type? Human, mostly.” --Orson Scott Card “Computer? Did we bring batteries? Computer?” --Eileen Gunn “Leia: 'Baby's yours.' Luke: 'Bad news...'” --Steven Meretzky
  12. 12. Dancer by Dominique Cimafranca She cut the dance floor like an arc welder through sheet metal. Danny stared, goggle-eyed. "She's a goddess, man!" "Want her number?" I offered. "You know her?" "Classmates in high school." Danny's jaw dropped. The dude was ecstatic. Then, realization hit him like a brick: "Didn't you go to an all-boys' school?"
  13. 13. Memories of Mother by Dominique Cimafranca "Why do you spend so much time making that? Can't you just buy it from Aling Siony?" Carding always asks me that question each time I go through my weekly ritual. It's not so much petulance, I think, as it is concern. Boiling rice over our woodfire stove, pounding ginger, adding a dash of chocolate and pinipig.... It's a long process, molded by years of tradition. I say nothing, though, I only smile, and Carding shuffles off to another household chore, as if to show what else I could be doing. I calmly wrap the rice in the banana leaves and put it in the clay pot. But I know in an hour's time, when the fragrance of the sticky rice wafts through the house, his mood will mellow down. When I remove my work of art from the pot, he will be at the table waiting silently. Then he will say: "Ah, Neneng, this brings back memories of mother you know. Aling Siony could never really get it right." And I know it will all have been worthwhile. Suman latik, just like mother used to make.
  14. 14. Exercise Write a flash fiction story. (Were you expecting something else?)
  15. 15. Need ideas? Some prompts... The last time I saw Momoy, he was pushing a junk-laden kariton down the alley; today, he rode in the back seat of a chauffered Mercedes. “Honey...the rubber broke...” “Di' na JUD ko mo-usab!” nagtiyabaw si Linda. “Mahal kita, pero...”
  16. 16. Next steps Submit your stories! http://dagmay.kom.ph is a good start Join contests! Workshops! See http://deadline.kom.ph, join the Young Davao Writers mailing list Read! Especially the masters of short fiction Write! Practice makes perfect
  17. 17. Masters of Short Fiction Anton Chekhov Ernest Hemingway O. Henry Ray Bradbury Chinua Achebe Guy de Maupassant
  18. 18. Writing Short Fiction A Workshop for Beginning Writers By Dominique Gerald M. Cimafranca villageidiotsavant.blogspot.com This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Philippines License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ph/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

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