Saturday, January 21, 2006

when short short is not short enough

These were my answers for the short short fiction exercise I posted about a couple days ago:

1. She was the kind of person who was always telling me about her dreams, as if I cared, and she would always end by asking me what I thought the dream "meant," as if I would tell her anyway.

2. He always said he was going to open a restaurant someday. He never said anything about it being that kind of restaurant, or about her being involved.

3. You could spot Francine from a mile away because that was back when we were living in that godforsaken town in Texas and who the hell else would be riding a unicycle?

4. Someday he would be able to purge his iPod of all those 911 calls he had downloaded off the Internet. But he still had ten more pounds to lose, and nothing else did the trick of keeping him going on the treadmill.

5. She always said the spicier the better. I cannot be blamed.

This week's assignment is to write a short short fiction story about an object. The instructor defines short short fiction as no more than 5 double-spaced pages, which in my world is ~1500 words, which in my world is not "short short" at all. So anything I do for this class, presuming I keep with it, is going to be "short short short fiction," or perhaps even less prolix than that.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just write about yourself. It will come across as fiction.
Seriously.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

Anon's comment is reminding me of a really execrable short story I wrote for a creative writing class my sophomore year about a cynical young lesbian with a crush on her TA. We didn't even HAVE TAs at my undergrad. I guess the point is that actual experience can make a good story (my friend Marc keeps telling me I should block out the last five years of my life as a graphic novel script), but weird speculative wish fulfillment, not so much.

Anyway: psychometry! Yeah!

A+ said...

In one of my workshops, Famous Prof said that no matter what you write, you'e writing about yourself.

jeremy said...

I refuse to believe that I am not stranger than fiction.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that claim made about sociology (i.e., that it's all somehow biography).

Tom Volscho said...

Mad Libs?

eszter said...

I agree, short short short does not make me think 1,500 words. Perhaps you could weave together what you have already written (above). Does restaurant count as an object? You've got the dreamer in #1 leading up to the restaurant in #2 all happening in your rural Texas town of #3 with the spicy food being served in #5. I'm not quite sure how the iPod story fits, except that perhaps someone is eating so much at this wildly successful (in her dreams, and in his stomache) restaurant that they need to spend tons of time on the treadmill as a result.

Anonymous said...

in a rural town in texas, you might could spot anyone from a mile away on account of how flat it is.

if you want a good name for a place in texas that might be a good setting for a murder mystery, i have always found Fieldstore Community to have a particularly disturbing feel to it.

Anonymous said...

i just googled Fieldstore Community to see what i could find. 4th or 5th hit was this obituary. i think it should count as short fiction. in any case, it gives good fodder for names and places.

"Ruth Helen Baskin, 99, passed away on October 20, 2004 in Atascocita, TX. She was born October 5, 1905 in Victoria, TX. Ruth grew up in the Houston Heights and graduated from Heights High School. During the 1930’s and World War II she, her husband, Carrol, and their five children lived in the Garden Villas subdivision of Houston. In 1946, the family moved to the Fieldstore Community in Waller County where she lived until 1999. Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, John R. Williams and Effie Williams; her only brother and all three sisters; daughter, Patsy Ruth Burns; son-in-law, Milton Krause; and husband, Thomas Carrol Baskin. She is survived by son, Thomas Carrol Baskin, Jr. and his wife Augustine of Waller; daughter, Nancy Krause of Brenham; son, John Baskin of Atascocita; son, George Baskin and his wife Sally of Atascocita; and numerous grand children, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Visitation will be Saturday, October 23, 2004 from 10:30am – 12:00pm at Canon Funeral Home Chapel in Waller. A Graveside Service will be held that same day at 1:00pm at Hempstead Cemetery."