As you know, I am a member of the Carlow Writers’ Co-operative, I love it but recently I have noticed that most of the writers are turning to poetry…Hmmm, is poetry the new black? We have three fiction writers and two short story writers, me and another girl. We met at my gaff after baby went down to talk all things short and to critique and overhaul each others work.
She brought me a copy of Flannery O’ Connor’s Writing manual type book, Mystery and Manners. It is made up of her thoughts and lectures on writing prose with a full chapter dedicated to the short story form. I have just finished that very chapter and it is brilliant, of course. She speaks about the two main and important parts of the short story. They are, according to her, mystery of the personality of the characters as in the character needs a personality and the second and probably most important things is the concrete, the visual and the senses. What does the writer see, what does the writer want the reader to see and feel or get meaning from? In fact, her musings and advice remind me of a poetry workshop i did last week with A Doctor Derek Coyle…Perhaps, poetry and short stories are more similar than we think.
Mystery and Manners by Flannery O’ Connor is available from every good place you can buy books, i would think. Amazon has it http://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Manners-Occasional-Flannery-OConnor/dp/0374508046