I was delighted to offer two flash fiction workshops locally on Saturday. The first was delivered at a fantastic event in celebration of Dorset Women’s Day, held at the Dorford Centre in Dorchester. The second was in the afternoon, working with some wonderful Dorset writers on behalf of the Dorset Writers’ Network. The content for each workshop varied slightly, but as an overview, I’ve listed some of the activities included.
- Definition of flash fiction
Not an easy task, but we did our best to come up with a definition by considering the length, the content, the structure, the process and the purpose of writing flash fiction
- Giving it a go – six word stories
Using models from the famous (Hemmingway and Atwood) and the not so famous (shortlisted entries to Fleeting Magazine’s 2012 competition) a variety of six word stories were shared to inspire participants. The resulting writing ranged from the sexually-charged to the humorous.
- Keeping it short
Using a piece of paper with a pretty picture prompt (a bit larger than a post-it note) participants produced pieces of flash fiction by drawing on the senses. Something about writing on a small piece of paper seems to focus the mind on careful word selection allowing participants to keep the writing short.
- Using stereotypes
This is a quick way into writing. Using prompts from the addictive television series ‘Come Dine with Me’ some useful characters sketches were drawn
- Putting yourself in the shoes of a photograph
By looking at a range of black and white photographs, participants were asked to imagine that they were the photographer and to write a short piece of fiction considering their relationship with the people in the photograph and to think about why the photograph was taken
- Making an origami book as a form of self publishing
This involved a demonstration and the distribution of a pre-prepared book containing one of my flash fiction stories. If you want to know how this is done, you’ll have to attend one of my workshops in the future.
A big thank you to everyone who attended the workshops – you were generous in sharing your writing and it was a pleasure working with you. If you would like me to deliver a workshop to your writing group, please get in touch using the ‘contact me’ page.