JEN BUTLER CHALLENGED OUR MORALS: in short story writing

On a morning “which ne’er puir sinner was abroad in”, Jen Butler braved the worst storm of the autumn so far to travel from the other side of Scotland to give us the benefit of her considerable knowledge and expertise in the field of short story writing.

Sweeping aside the usual workshop topics of plot, characterisation and dialogue, she plunged us from the start into the dark and uncomfortable world of the human psyche with a stimulating and challenging session on 9th November, which kick-started sluggish Monday brain cells into frantic writing activity.

This approach, though testing for some of us, nevertheless had the desired effect in getting us to think hard about the nature of successful short story writing; the role of protagonist and antagonist in creating tension; the elusive concept of right and wrong; and the fundamental but complex question of how to define morality.

At the end of her talk, Jen’s challenge to the members of LWG was to write 750-1000 words of Flash Fiction on a theme of our own choosing, but featuring both a protagonist and antagonist with whom the reader can identify, and whose characters clearly provide colour, texture and context. Finally, and most importantly, the story should be “morally ambiguous”. No pressure, then!

The deadline for entries has now passed.

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