The final assignment for the Open University’s A174 Start Writing Fiction asks students to write a a short story of 1500 words that includes some use of time-shift and some dialogue.
One or more of the following subjects must be used:
- a knife
- a market square
- a letter
- a musical instrument
I set yesterday aside as the day to write my first draft, then waited for inspiration to swim by. I don’t chase inspiration—it’s too elusive. It’s much better to set a few mental nets, then do other things as I wait for the inspirational fish to be scooped up. Sometimes I’ve even lucky enough to catch myself a kraken.
So, what did I find in my nets?
- A golden sunrise that tinted the landscape in shades of brown:
- A friend’s video on facebook—he’s training in sword and buckler work.
- The Osprey Men-at-Arms books The Swiss At War 1300-1500 and Italian Medieval Armies 1300-1500.
- Our youngest boy’s name, which means ‘Brown Lord/Noble’ in Gaelic.
- The prompt words honour and abandonment, quickly followed by shame and passion.
- A friend’s birthday.
- A rather dirty little girl playing in the park in the village.
- The prompt word knife, although it changed to a dirk and then gained a tuck sword for balance.
- Son House‘s take on John the Revelator:
- Revelations 6:4: And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
I took my catches, jumbled them up together and came up with 1,532 words. As it’s a piece of writing for assessment, I can’t publish it on the blog but I can say that, yes, it is a story from the dark side.
Next, I have to analyse the story and write a commentary on it. First, though, I need some sleep and then I’ll have to spend a day making sausages. After that…
- Bloomsbury embrace ‘year of the short story’ (robaroundbooks.com)
- New short story – finished! (nilaewhite.wordpress.com)
- Over 1,500 words today … (deberelene.wordpress.com)