2D 2014: News Article and Flash Fiction

Today, you will work on two writing tasks: a news story and flash fiction. Neither is particularly long, but the second will require significant brainstorming.

First I’d like you to turn Lather, That’s All into a news story.

Here is the format you need to use:

  • You need to decide on the most important event in the short story you read. Make sure it something worth reporting.
  • News articles rely on the inverted pyramid.  This means that most important information needs to come first . Thus, your first paragraph should address the who, what, when, why, and how of the event. The secondary information/details can come in the later paragraphs.
  • Paragraphs in news articles tend to be slightly shorter than in essays (3-4 sentences per paragraph, max).
  • Newspaper articles need to sound objective. This means that “you” cannot be in the article; thus,  do not include references to you or your opinion.

Here are some examples. Pay particular attention to the two sentences:

Canadian Sister Act Hits Sochi Moguls Competition

Henrik Sedin, Marian Gaborik will miss Sochi Olympics because of injury



 Next, I’d like you to experiment with a form of writing called flash fiction.

Though flash fiction has a  few variations, we will work with the premise that the story can be no longer than 55 words. I know this can be a real challenge; of course, this is why I am making you try it. If you can’t think of a story option, you can try writing a 55 word version of Lather, That’s All.

For this to work, we need to concentrate on the three classic elements of storytelling: plot, setting, and action:

Plot: developing a plot in 55 words is a real challenge. At the very least, make sure you have some element of conflict; the conflict does not have to be resolved.

Setting: The story needs to take place somewhere. Give us context, but be brief.

Action: Someone (or something) needs to act. Given the word limitations, you need to keep the actions rather simple. As you write, think about the nature of the actions; sometimes subtle actions carry more weight.

The Twist: Something needs to happen in the last line or two that changes the tone or meaning of the story.

Here is an example.


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