Monday, March 13, 2006

(ssf) dead baby

So, basically this spring my blog has been strangled by short short fiction. I realize this. Even though I have no sitemeter, I believe I have driven most of my readers away the past two months. And, yet, one last assignment remains. This one involved the instructor handing out a diagram of a fish that I need to find and scan. But, anyway, the gist of the assignment was to write a story that had an "outside" story and an "inside" story, where the "outside" story was what the story initially gave all appearances of being about and the "inside" story was a more psychological story that the story would turn out to be "really" about. Or something like that.

While she was explaining it, she talked with seeming admiration of a creative writing teacher she'd had who would tell students who didn't have enough of an "inside story" in their fiction that they should "stick in a dead baby." I spent much of the rest of the class in a vague snit about the idea of "stick in a dead baby" as a creative panacea for twentysomethings. (Don't get me wrong, I adore my ssf instructor, but: stick in a dead baby?!) So my story idea basically developed from that. The result is titled "Dead Baby" and is available as pdf here. As always, non-inconsolable-despair-inducing suggestions and comments are welcome, especially anything before class at 8pm EST Tuesday.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Now you really have created two characters. And they grew out of those dead babies. So now you ARE a writer.

Great that you signed up for the course and stuck with it.

I learned the other day that in northern Iceland, they still observe an old Ash Wednesday rite in some places up there: they hang up a barrel and beat it open with sticks -- and a dead cat falls out.
Your play on the nested, dead baby dolls somehow taps the same primeval source, I think. The results, a powerful story that can resonate on different levels for different readers.

islander said...

I think this is my favorite of your SSF although the "clue" piece is a close second. I am wondering though, that last paragraph feels a bit tacked on, do you really need to take us that far - the resolution and the split? If so, is there a way to do it without conspicuous narration?
Just my $.02.

jeremy said...

I am certainly open to alternatives for the last paragraph. I haven't had any other ideas.

Anonymous said...

It'll come to you...

Anonymous said...

Great story. My only worry is that your teacher is going to think you have a crush on her.

Lucy said...

You've gained at least one reader, too. I've been enjoying your stories a lot.

Anonymous said...

Those teachers are used to student crushes. But why shouldn't the old boy be sweet on her. She's probably appreciative of his talent and efforts. A nice pair, I'd say (ask her out for coffee, Dude).

jeremy said...

Lucy: Thanks!

Anon: As ever, I appreciate readers' romantic counsel.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, man. Take her to the Casablanca and sit where you can both see the great mural across from the bar.

jeremy said...

I'm not going to ask out my ssf instructor, but I do like Casablanca.