Norman’s Conquests

This term, Tricycle Readers reads have included short stories from Chinua Achebe, Rose Tremaine, Julian Barnes, Salman Rushdie, and Nadine Gordimer. All these classic writers provide profound insights into the human condition through single scenes and/or singular narratives.

People assume writing shorts is easier than writing novels. That isn’t necessarily true. Characters and situations have to be instantly clear, and any failings or faults in form or content are much easier to spot in a fifteen or twenty minute read. This is something we often discuss at meetings.

This week, sorting through some old desktop folders, I found a handful of short stories I wrote at some point in the mid 1990s. After two years of reading work by accomplished literary writers, it provided a bit of a jolt, because I’ve got used to meaningful texts…

Norman’s Conquests is one from my unpublished collection. It’s for those of you interested in the nuts and bolts of writing. I was aiming at magazine publication, and don’t remember now why I gave up, but having spent two years reading real literature with our group I know I would approach the whole genre differently now – much more seriously.

I’ve updated one section to include Google and mobiles, because that moves it along, but in every other particular it is unchanged and of its time.

If you want exposure to more serious stuff, you should come along to Tricycle Readers at The Tricycle Theatre on Wednesday nights, restarting Wednesday April 13 at 7pm. Thanks to the generosity of the Royal Literary Fund’s Reading Round scheme, sessions are free of charge. Inquire within.




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