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Trying the U3A Creative Writing Exercise

If you are trying the U3A Howden & District Creative Writing Group Exercise then you will be interested how the group leader got on with Flash Story Writing at ThoughtTree CW Workshop. Well here is how it went.

Flash ‘Cricket’!
Use the words in a short story (100 words max.) strictly in the order given (no going backward or restarting allowed)

Shadows flint shimmer stealthy jealous priest steel mother candle-wax harbour

You can choose no fewer than six words from this Ten Word list.

                                                                              (Ten Minutes... Go!)

“The shadows cast by the flint outcrops (despite the shimmer of moon light upon them) enabled the stealthy entrance of this jealous Roman catholic priest. In his coat inside pocket he could feel the steel and brass ‘mother Mary’ effigy and the candlesticks soft squidgy candle-wax. For 20 years his mind had been the harbour of a grudge that he held against his brother.”

(64 Words - ran out of time, with the remaining 36 words I could have finished the story thus.)

“ suddenly he was outside the door of his brothers house. The front room lights were on. The candle stick was in his right hand. He rang the door bell. Bludgeoned by a mighty object. mission accomplished. “

(100 Words)

* You must try not to write the opening of a much longer story.
* All stories are about movement. A story is a journey from one place to another.
* “Before I was a writer I was a reader” Edith Pearman

Group Observation: - Never give up being a reader, even if your writing is going very well for unless you share the readers experience you will never write anything of any worth.

* Ernest Hemingway is thought to have said that 10% off any story is revealed by the writing the other 90% is created in the readers mind.

* Flash fiction is a snapshot “glimpse“ of a journey.
* It is not a vehicle for memoirs and neither should it be A place for random thoughts.
* Flash fiction is a complete stand alone story which could be expanded upon but does not have to be.

* The idea is for the reader to build the paces of the story that are missing in his mind.

When your story has been written read it and then re-read it placing emphasis on different words below is an example.

Chaos. And then I found you.

If the emphasis is on CHAOS then this sentence has one meaning. If the emphasis is placed on the word YOU then it has an entirely different meaning.

A Task.

1) What terrifies me is…
2) It’s hurt so much I…
3) No one believes…

Pick one of the prompts above and write a flash story that begins with your choice.

First attempt of a draft version.

Title:-  NO SENSE

No one believes any more. The world seems to have promoted the eye way beyond its merits. The eyes now stand on a victory podium where the noble pair control instead of serve the mind. The ultimate power in his region had asked but one important, vital, unanswered question “And what is the truth?” The ensuring silence sealed his fate. The end of the beginning had begun.

In my mind, when writing, was the picture of Christ standing, after being severely
flogged in Pilate’s inner office. Pilate’s wife had a very bad dream and had begged her husband to find some way to let Jesus escape with his life. BUT what image another reader has depends on where he focuses the emphasis and thus the story conveyed to him might be an entirely different one. DO YOU SEE?

I decided to give my short story the title No Sense. I then re-read and re-wrote the story so that I could make some now obvious improvements.

No one believes any more. “Now” has promoted the eye to the pinnacle position of the five. It’s lofty place dominates, whereas it used just to serve the mind. Long ago two men met in a room. One was authority and the other was just subject two. Only one question trumpeted around the room. “And what is the truth?“ The question resounded into a world whose hearing was severely diminished through time, it failed to touch them, had no taste, The salt was missing, they just felt nothing. The eye saw only that one man lived and the other died. Although a tear was shed the event meant very little out of the ordinary. People live. People die.

[117 words] needs an edit to remove 17 words.

And there ThoughtTree session ended. Try the exercise yourself and see where your inner thoughts lead you to write a flash story about. Try to keep as close to 100 words as possible. We will review at the next U3A Creative Writing group meeting where you can have your say about this exercise and whether you thought it was worth including in our already busy agenda.

Thanks for your efforts, we are all improving our writing slowly but surely.