I spent yesterday at a Short Story Masterclass workshop led by fellow Stockholm Writer’s Group member, Cassie Gonzalez (great name!). It was fun. We read some stories, talked a little about the craft, and spent some time practicing the techniques we had discussed. At the end, we took everything we learned and cranked out a rough draft to a short story.

I really enjoyed listening to the other writers read their work. I always feel so privileged whenever I find myself in the company of such talented writers, like those who attended the workshop yesterday. It’s also so much easier to pick out different components of the story when listening to someone else’s work. You see how they tackled backstory, or what weight they gave to various objects and it sparks a new idea for your story.

Writing the draft was a lot of fun, too. Sitting in a class with a bunch of other writers, working against a clock, sort of forces you to stay in the room. I don’t normally use writing prompts, because I have so many ideas I don’t have enough time to write out as it stands, but Cassie gave us all a pair of story prompt writing dice, an old postcard to use for identifying sensory information, and an object description from another participant. From this, we crafted a story. I’m quite pleased with mine. Once I chip away at the fluff, add some more depth, and clean up the ending, I plan on sending it out.

Speaking of sending work out — At the beginning of the summer, I submitted a short story entitled ‘Body Talk’ to a contest. I got the email back today with my score — the highest score possible. They didn’t say anything else, really, just ‘here’s your score’ and a little comment.

“What an interesting story! I remember as a kid, we used to write on our hands, but more often, we wrote on our jeans. I’m not sure why, but we did! You did a great job starting off with little bits of writing, then showed how it expanded and grew. I love the encounters with counselor and wonder what she thought about it all? The different responses from Mom and Dad are perfect, and I think my favorite line is, “They’ve eaten all her words.” Nice work, and in only 304 words, which is hard to do! Thank you for sharing!”

I’m assuming that means I didn’t move on to the next round, but on a positive note, I did receive the highest score possible. That feels great!

 

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