Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I feel like I'm channeling our on-leave Kathryn Lilley, who gave KillerHobbies some of its most memorable images. This photo is of a termite. In a minute you'll see what it has to do with writing.
I attended a short story workshop, given by Sophie Littlefield and Tim Maleeny, two very talented Sisters in Crime.
Having just submitted my twelfth novel to my editor, I found it a bit daunting to think short! Sophie and Tim were wonderfully instructive about structuring short stories in a different way from novels. Start with one idea, add one "concept" or story thread. Keep it simple, easy to pitch.
Hearing the various ideas and stories of the attendees was inspiring, but one stood out —from a woman who did a stint as a writer of radio commercials. She'd have to get a message across in as little as 30 seconds.
Here was her example, a commercial she wrote for a pest control company:
How does a termite hide in a wall?
He puts on a helmet and pretends he's a nail.
Canned laughter – then:
Termites – it's no joke.
Now I'm trying to squeeze my short story idea into a 30-second jingle!
Does anyone else find it hard to write short?