Things New Writers Do Wrong

Everything that’s wrong with your story, courtesy of Michael Swanwick.

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Writer’s Salon #10 Recap

The good news is that we have now met ten times. The bad news is that our last meeting was almost ten months ago! Now that we’ve finally met again, we are hoping to get back into the groove.

For our tenth meeting, we met at Susannah’s. Kim, Nicole, Bethany, and Jon were also in attendance. We started with dinner and a brief celebration of Bethany and Jon’s purchase of a new house and then quickly moved on to writing.

Our warm up exercises were to write an alphabetical list of advice (from “Always look both ways before crossing the street” to “Zebras do not make good pets”) and to describe each day of the week as a person. In between, we broke for a gorgeous literary-themed cake from The Bakery Nook.

The rest of the evening was spent writing a short story, set in a scene provided by Bethany and Jon. We had our choice of three levels of detail to get us started:

  • A busy airport
  • Baggage claim at 4:10am
  • TSA officer sitting on side of baggage carousel, reading. Man in turban buying coffee. Woman with blue hair and a service dog, eating a bagel. A drowsy-looking Chinese man sitting on a bench holding sleeping twin toddlers. A large, strangely-shaped package on the baggage carousel. One flickering overhead light.

In addition, we used Rory’s Story cubes and added a new item to the mix every five minutes:

  • A clock, with the hands at 4 o’clock
  • A hand
  • A rook/castle tower
  • A lock
  • A bridge
  • A cell phone