Short Story Craft Workshop – Day 1

A friend asked me to recount my experiences of Kris Rusch’s Short Story Craft Workshop as I go, so I’ll make an effort, but if it gets too intensive expect very short descriptions or no descriptions on some days.

Last night at midnight the first assignment was due. It was definitely outside of my comfort zone since it had to be a contemporary story with no magical or science fiction elements (3,000 – 6,000 words).

I ended up writing a story about Passover under the stay-at-home orders, starting with a Zoom seder. I borrowed some elements of my experiences and some aspects of my family for the story. I remind my family and friends that just because a character has some element that you also have, doesn’t mean that it is you. The characters are a mish-mash of people I know and stories I’ve heard. This story starts sad and ends in love. Max and Steve, my normal alpha readers, have not read it, but if they had I am certain that they would tell me it is ‘sweet’ or perhaps ‘adorable.’

This morning I learned that me and the eight others who were originally scheduled for the in-person intensive were placed into a special group so that we can read each others’ stories and hear Kris Rusch’s analysis of what works and doesn’t work in them. We are not allowed to discuss anyone else’s story. I’m a bundle of nerves thinking about this. I’ll let you know if I actually die when she discusses my story.

We received our second short story assignment this morning as well. It is due Sunday morning. This one is a science fiction/fantasy story (3,000 – 6,000 words). I’m deliberately not giving you all the details about the assignments, just in case someone takes the course and the assignments are reused.

We also have reading assignments that I should have completed by now, but haven’t. So I’ll be doing some of that today. I’m getting close to done. Lectures are twice a day starting this afternoon.

So that’s the run down this morning of our socially-isolated short story craft workshop with Kris Rusch.

Be well, friends!

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