Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Goldfish Bowl, A Train, and a Man In Black

I've been through several writers' groups...sort of like Spinal Tap has gone through drummers. However this current one has been tremendous fun thus far. It sparks me to write. Maybe its the group of people (a fun and energetic mix ), or maybe its just the lively discussion about elements of fiction writing (we last discussed an Editor's checklist). Perhaps it's the fact that three of us are teachers and three of us have been involved in journalism. Maybe its just a good group.

Anyway, there's a point to my ramble. The group is engaging in a bit of writing designed to exercise our sense of economy. I love these little assignments; some of my best story ideas have come from these activities. I thought I would share this one with you. I will be posting the result on this blog next Thursday. Anyone who would like to join in is welcome. Send me a link to your posting and I will post it here so others can visit, read, and comment.

So, the assignment? Five hundred words. That's it, no more than five hundred freaking words. And somewhere in those words you will have to involve a goldfish bowl, a man in black, and a train. I know...I know...but those are the conditions. 

If you want to see what I come up with, visit next Thursday night. If you want to play, send me your link.


Rick said...

Stewart, I am working on this, but am having difficulty coming up with a title less than 500 words in length. Do you have any advice?

Zoe Winters said...

haha I love Spinal Tap.

It goes to... eleven.

Charles Gramlich said...

I watched Johnny Cash as he boarded the train for Folsom Prison, but I couldn't understand why he was carrying a goldfish bowl.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Rick...laugh it up, but YOU of all people would benefit from this activity.

Zoe...they are the Ultimate Band. I would love to do a Guitar Hero version of Fat Bottom.

Charles...when I write the first Pulitzer Prize winning flash fiction, you'll grovel at my feet and worship me as the writing God that I am.

Rick said...

We already worship you as the god of flash fiction for stories involving a trench coat!

DebraLSchubert said...

In the 8th grade we were given a list of 15 words to incorporate into a story. At this late date, "biscuits" and "chestnuts" are the only two I recall. My story was a murder mystery, and I kept that paper for years since it was the only A+ I got in middle school! (BTW, drummers self-combusting is not just a funny bit in Spinal Tap. As a rock musician, I've seen more drummers come and go than interns in Bill Clinton's office!)

Stewart Sternberg said...

Rick, you've been following me around with a crown of thorns and a vinegar besotted sponge for too long.

Deborah, do you realize that you used to nineties references in one comment?Your quota for the month is only four, so be careful.

spyscribbler said...

I love your flash fiction. It's a fascinating genre to me. I have thoughts about it, but I'm afraid to say them out loud, LOL.

I do love a story that packs a short and powerful punch.

L.A. Mitchell said...

Can't wait to see what you come up with :)

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