Pieces of Eight

I’m experimenting with a new story writing method.

I have had this habit for years now of looking up a word in the dictionary and then reading the words on the page surrounding it.  Often, possibly due to etymological relationships, the words will run along a vein of similarity; their meanings pump with the same or similar life force.

I have a brief for uni: 1500 words of short story, or short fiction. Taking inspiration from the likes of Kate Grenville and Helen Garner, I’m going to try and cobble a story together, using fragments.  Those fragments, of which there are eight, are inspired by words gathered from a page in the dictionary.

The title, Pieces of Eight, sprung to mind when I realised I had eight words.  It also allows the story to be more fragmentary, rather than necessitating a strictly linear narrative.  Nonetheless, I’d still like to tell a story.

I’ve used similarly styled prompts to make performances in the past.  I’m hoping this will work as a way of making stories, as I really struggle with how to pull stories out of nowhere, and I’m tired of waiting for that miraculous, rare moment when they just turn up on their own.

My deadline for draft number one is 1st August. But I’m off to the local writers’ festival that weekend, so really it’s 31st July.

Paying for a fail is good incentive to write and pay for a pass (at least – I’d rather a HD or a D).  That doesn’t mean I’ll be bribing the teacher! But if I’m racking up a debt for my education than it’s worth it to do well. Besides, if I manage to write something that is good I’ll have achieved a few things:

1) a good grade

2) a new story that I can send out to publishers

3) a new way of making work

4) proof to myself that I can manufacture a story to a brief or a demand, to a deadline, which makes entering short story competitions a lot more viable, and opens a world of publishing possibilities to me in terms of having more volume of work to submit.

There’s no such thing as a waste when it comes to writing.  See you on the other side



About talesbytink

I've lived various lives in various places but have been a writer at heart the whole time. The experiences of being other things in other lands and times can only make my writing richer. I have no regrets about the road travelled. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
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