truth to fiction

Translating life into fiction can be a way to externalize our inner apocalypse...  photo: Jon Sullivan ...and reading our fiction can lead us to an understanding of what we have locked away. Write about a Thanksgiving that became a turning point in your life, locate it in an exaggerated world of your creation, and animate it with people who enact … Continue reading truth to fiction

vehicle for change

Select a departure point and destination on a map, then put two people on a bus - chart their geographic progress as they navigate their relationship. How does being in a restricted space limit what they can say? How does the changing scenery propel them into the past? How are they changed by this journey? … Continue reading vehicle for change

plot in six

Economy of words - Challenge yourself to make every word count: take a story you've written and reduce it to 200 words (that's Flash Fiction), then bring it down to a paragraph (Paragraph Fiction), then to six words. It's possible to evoke a story with discernible plot in six words: “Failed SAT. Lost Scholarship. Invented Rocket.” William Shatner … Continue reading plot in six

Frankenstein and redemption

Think of your stories as your Frankensteins –made from the lost limbs stitched together, and animated by the cell memories, of people you’ve known. What shape will they take, grafted together in a plot that requires they move in synchrony. Built into this unnatural union is the tragedy and yearning it takes to invent redemption.  photo:Rosendahl

in the end

You can know a story by examining how it begins, and understand it by examining how it ends. In life, the ending is in the beginning. In writing too, openings and endings resonate.  photo: Leon Brooks Here, on this bench, was the end. Writing Prompt: Write the opening paragraph - show what began on this bench. Then … Continue reading in the end

first trigger

  Stories are made because something, in a moment, changes everything. This moment is the story trigger. Until this moment, life, no matter how dysfunctional, has gone on, and the character has maintained a balance, no matter how precarious. Though the trigger is significant, it needn't be a literal explosion. It might be as subtle as a strand … Continue reading first trigger