Wrong+Wrong=Right

I first heard Robert Shearman last October and when I saw that ChiZine had him back for workshop on July 7, I was eager to sign on – four hours of short-story structure with him, plus a copy of his latest collection. My only apprehension was that the ‘workshop’ would get hijacked by rabid Dr. Who-ites & turned into a fan-gazim Who-fest about who the new Doctor should be. Thankfully this was not the case.

wicker dappled
wicker dappled

His presentation was focused, funny & constructive. There was about a dozen of us there, many from the ChiZine family, it appears. Robert made it clear that he sees the short story as a satisfying form in itself – not merely a prelude or training ground for someone who really wants to write novels.

rip in the sky
rip in the sky

He spoke about structure; some about pov; about how the narrative isn’t always what the story is telling us; how trivial moments become revealing moments; often short stories are about the wrong thing at the wrong time creating the right story – which to me translated into Wrong+Wrong=Right.

We did a couple of simple writing exercises, and some of us shared what we dashed off. I made sure I did just in case Robert still falls asleep with credits of the day rolling – credits that only include those who had speaking roles.

masts reflecting
masts reflecting

The basement room of Bakka Phoenix Books was an excellent – if a bit over air-conditioned – space for the workshop. Washroom near at hand, some choice cookies too. Time well spent.

serious root canal work
serious root canal work

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