Friday, September 21, 2012

Small is beautiful!

We had a smaller group this week as people had visitors and a couple still have not returned from UK but we looked at an example of a striking opening paragraph to a work in progress by one of our members, worked on a few common errors in English and found out the answer to, 'Which famous writer said that his best work was a six word story?' (which was asked in a previous blog.)

The writer was Hemingway and the story:
For sale, baby shoes, never worn.

We observed how, no matter how thoroughly we describe, how carefully we explain, there are always as many interpretations of a story as there are readers. Each reader brings something of themselves to the images and nuances of the text. Therefore, the six word story loses nothing by its brevity because it allows each reader to have a slightly different view of exactly why the shoes are unworn but nevertheless has the main ingredients of a story: a main character, or characters, action and reaction, pathos, empathy. I felt it was in a recognisable genre, as I saw it as a tragedy but Marc made us smile when he said he saw it as a comedy in which a baby was born with enormous feet! Which sort of proved the point, we all use our imagination to conjure up our version of a story.

Keeping it small we had a go at writing haiku (Based on a Japanese poetry form using 17 syllables)  before we moved to, what seemed by then quite a generous word allowance, 100 words, which non-the-less made us think about keeping our writing tight and not wasting words.

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