Short Story Writing Workshop – Day 4

Yesterday’s focus was point of view. I did an analysis of Barbara Roden’s Flu Season, a fine horror tale that shows how point of view can shape a plot and develop atmosphere. The Freak Museum by Jackie Gamber (winner of the 2010 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award, sponsored by Rosebud magazine) expertly showed how point of view can characterize and build plot also. Both stories left me viewing Werewolf, Zombies, Sunrise with great dismay, but I rallied and set to work figuring out the best way to use point of view in WZS to shape Daniel’s character and convey his post-apocalyptic city. I took a long walk in the sunshine and worked out a number of story points.


Let me walk through the fields of paper touching with my wand dry stems and stunted butterflies… –Denise Levertov, “A Walk through the Notebooks”

7:00 am Breakfast

8:00 am Inspirational Reading – The Theory & Practice of Fantastical Writing: A Conversation with Theodora Goss, Fantasy Magazine 2 (2006)

Workshop 4 – SETTING                                          8:30 am – 12:00 pm

Assigned ReadingThe Power of Place, The Writer, November 2009

Short Story:  Ode To Edvard Munch, Caitlin R. Kiernan (Genre: Dark Fantasy)

Short Story: Death’s Last Daughter, Jeff Crook, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #4  (Genre: Heroic Fantasy)

  • What is the setting in your story?
  • Study the way you describe setting in your story. Do you stress only what is seen or make use of the other senses or sense impressions?
  • What is the general mood you hope to convey from the setting?
  • How do your character’s emotions color what’s seen?
  • What setting details impact both the character’s feelings and general mood of the story?

12:00 pm       Lunch

Writing Your Short Story                                          1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Try to make the setting as much a presence in the story as possible. Consider the questions.

3 thoughts on “Short Story Writing Workshop – Day 4

  1. I have enjoyed reading your posts on the workshop you are attending. I’ve never attended one, but the things you seem to be doing are fascinating. I may have to do so one day.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with the rest of us in Word Press Land,


  2. Thank you! Actually I design these writing workshops for myself since they help me stay focused! And I don’t have to leave home! d:))

  3. I received your email and I believe it’s a fascinating design — having your own workshops. One day I’ll take some away time from the busy bustle of life and do one myself.

    I think it will involve a lot of Lydia Davis and Raymond Carver stories and maybe a peppering of a few others — followed closely by some much needed writing time.

    Oh, someday! Enjoy your workshops.


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