Today I attended my new writer’s group meeting with the Maine Fellowship of Christian Writers. It was a so good to connect with other writers in my area. I went to another writing group before that basically was a reading session. This meeting provided a format that I really enjoyed. Conversation, Lesson, Exercise, Refreshments, Readings, Discussion, Prayer.

The lesson was on short short fiction. Highlights of the lesson came from Roberta Allen’s book “Fast Fiction”. Here are some of my notes:

Short, Short Stories

Definition: “A Moment of Insight”, under 1,000 words.

Short, Short Stories are:

  1. Stories with a single incidence. – A short, short story can do in a page what a novel can do in 200 pages.
  2. Stories that compress time. – It can span a period of years without feeling like you are missing something.
  3. Stories that reveal a mind. – Voice is everything. A mind is revealed more than a story is told.
  4. Stories that defies ordinary reality.- Extra ordinary; impossible experience.

3 Unique Qualities of a short, short story:

  1. Brevity – The reader knows more than what is being said. Use of poetic metaphors.
  2. Intensity – An urgency must be felt in more than one place. An intensity carries the readers interest.
  3. Surprise – The story is abrupt, but believable. It presents a different side that you wouldn’t see without the writers help.

The lesson was followed by an exercise in which we were to write a short, short story. This was a timed exercise and the prompt theme was “a snapshot”. I almost froze when I learned we actually had to write, and that we would later share it aloud. I was sitting beside a multi-published author. She was a tough act to follow. But I did my best and wrote about the first thing that popped into my head when I think of snapshot. Mom, of course.

I wrote about “the” time (actually there have been many, too many) that my mother risked her life just to take a great photo. She has a propensity for living on the edge, and that’s where she was taking this picture. I took one of her, just so I would have one last photo of Mom doing what she enjoyed most. Perhaps I will share it sometime after I polish it up.

Now that I have joined this group I better get used to sharing my work. This in and of itself will be a great accomplishment for me in my journey to becoming a published author.

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