And Donna killed it. She slayed everyone who was in the audience. Her lively talk was peppered with comments and contributions from the other writers there. I came away with some really tasty
- Short stories move the characters from innocence to experience. Novels move the characters from innocence to experience and then to a higher innocence.
- Short stories can be put to work. Make them a "dress rehearsal" for your novel or for your characters. Try them on. See how they fit...
- She had her pants hitched up with a black canvas belt. Her long face was a picture frame for her tired-looking eyes. Her (Ooops. Sorry. This is part of what I was working on for the Saturday Writers Mystery/Murder Short Story Contest. The deadline is March 24.)
- Donna caught a mistake in one of William Peter Blatty's novels. (He's the one who gave us The Exorcist.) Donna reviewed the book, and noted in her review, "I can't figure out how a child was two-years old in one chapter and then in another chapter, a year later, the child is still two-years old." She got an email from the author, thanking her for catching the mistake that was missed by his editor and publisher. What a great story.
- Dianna Graveman suggested using story prompts as the story ending, instead of using them as a springboard at the beginning. What a unique idea.
And my favorite bullet of the evening:
Satisfy the readers' expectations, but not with what they expect.