Friday, February 12, 2010

Three-Minute Fiction

by Rachel

I remember in college, when my creative writing professors would give the class a photograph or a newspaper clipping and ask us to write a story from it, my eyes would glaze over and I’d quickly write a B-grade short story the night before my assignment was due. But, little did I know that this was not a spur-of-the-moment task professors gave out to pass time throughout the semester, but an exercise to stimulate creativity! Photographs, newspaper clippings, even (dare I say it) weird Twitter posts can create new and exciting stories in an author’s mind.

So, having said this, and actually believing this might kill the winter writer’s block for myself and others, I’m going to do exactly what I hated doing in my college creative writing classes, and participate in the Three-Minute Fiction contest, held by NPR. 600 words, one photograph, and 15 days to procrastinate!

7 comments:

  1. I think they have a mistake in their first sentence. ...to while away... Shouldn't it be ...wile away...? My dictionary says wile means: a devious or cunning strategem

    I think that's what they mean, isn't it?

    I'm not a registered user, so I won't comment there, but someone should tell them!

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  2. I'm back. On the internet it says wile is an accepted British use in this case, but while is historically correct. That's what I get for using the OED. When reading American sites, use an American dictionary, I reckon! Oh, well. Interesting all the same.

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  3. I like the 15-day procrastination period part.

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  4. Anonymous, I like your dedication to the English language!

    ~ Rachel

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  5. I got caught up on the 'wile' / 'while' thing too, and I'm American. (And Anonymous, my husband is British, and he says it should be 'while'.)

    This contest sounds like fun. And 15 whole days to procrastinate is almost too generous.

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  6. The OED gives one definition of "while" as v.t. [transitive verb] meaning pass (time, hour, etc.) from the Old Norse "hvila." So NPR didn't make a boo-boo. The contest sounds fun. Thanks.

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  7. I entered! But I'm more in the "drop everything to do it right now and then impulsively send it in" camp. I'm not sure if that's a good thing. Yet.

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