Posted: March 22nd, 2022

write a story similar to Ron Rash’s “The Harvest.”

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Flash Fiction Writing (The Short-Short Story)
This week we’re looking more closely at character and dialogue. For your assignment, write a story similar to Ron Rash’s “The Harvest.”
Write from the point of view of a child. In “The Harvest” the child is the “I” character. It’s the boy who is helping his dad and uncle harvest. We see everything through his eyes.
Notice that there are two stories happening at the same time:
Story #1: The boy is helping his dad and uncle harvest cabbages for the neighbor.
Story #2: The neighbor has died in a farming accident.
Which is the REAL story? The neighbor’s death, obviously. But we learn about the neighbor’s death via the top story (story #1), the boy and the men harvesting.
How do we learn about that more important story? Through the dialogue. What the characters say while they work and carry out the whole task of the cabbage harvest shows us that most important (and terribly sad) underlying story.
Take a closer look at “The Harvest” to see all the ways story #2 rises through the dialogue of story #1.
Most good pieces of short fiction will operate this way. A top story, or a story #1 will seem to be the main thing happening, but over the course of the narrative, we find out that there’s actually something much more important, a story #2 or bottom story, going on underneath the action.
Here’s what I want you to do:
Tell a story from a child’s point of view. Have that child learn about something that’s happened by listening to the dialogue of two adults. It might help you to outline things before you start. Who is your child? Who are the adults? What are they doing (story #1)? What’s the more important thing that’s happened (story #2)? Remember that your characters have to be DOING SOMETHING. They can’t be just having a conversation. Make sure to create a world and action for them to inhabit!
See where this takes you!

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