Do you need to kickstart your writing this month? Has your November challenge so far been less than prolific? Don't worry.... several of us here at Cafe Aphra & Friends are in the same position.
Today I successfully avoided working on my novel by starting on my next assignment in the online flash fiction writing course I am doing, courtesy of Fish Publishing (which I would warmly recommend). One of the tasks in today's section on dialogue was the following:
A husband has crashed his wife’s car and has to tell her but is avoiding
coming out with it directly. The wife didn’t insure the car and at some
point has to come clean about that too. Build a dialogue that has no
lines of summary, no attribution, no description of tone, no
characterizing of voice or words; just two voices.
Because you have no
attribution - no he said or she said - you must portray those silences
and pauses through punctuation. With only their exchanges you must
deliver who they are, what sort of people they are, the subtext and
where they are in time and space without letting it seem forced or
150 to 300 words.
(Adapted from Richard Bausch’s exercise - Character and situation through Dialogue)
I immediately felt motivated to start writing and once again witnessed the power of flash fiction to get us unstuck when we are in a writing rut. The results may not have been been brilliant, but I had fun doing it and it gave me a sense of satisfaction at having achieved something - indeed, at having finished something! A rare gift indeed.
So I thought, how about suggesting this to all us NaNo writers out there this month who are looking for a way back into writing and rediscovering the joy of it?
If anyone feels like giving it a go, they can post up their results here as a comment or email them in and we'll publish them as part of our Flash Fiction Fridays series. (Check out this week's great story by Derek Dohren by the way, 'Elena'.)
Go on - try it!
What have you got to lose?