A Word of Explanation

Something remarkable happened early on in the life of the writing group that Joanna Rose and I have led since the mid-nineties: two writers came in with the word Ducati used in both their pieces. If they had both mentioned motorcycles we might have noticed, and had they both said Harley Davidson we would surely have remarked on it. But the specificity of Ducati, a relatively obscure brand of Italian motorcycle, seemed to push this coincidence into the wu-wu realm of the divinely synchronous. Ever since, whenever something like this happens in our writing group, we call it a Ducati.

Years later we came up with the idea of hosting a reunion for everyone who had ever been in our writing group. To give the reunion a writing focus I sent out a challenge as part of the invitation. The challenge listed seven elements. Writers were to use at least three of them in a 1000 word piece of flash fiction. A list of these elements can be found at the rules.

Ten writers rose to the challenge. As we sat in a circle listening to the pieces we were delighted, entertained, and astonished by the way the elements of the challenge were brought into play. Some writers included all seven, and some managed as few as two, but it wasn't how closely each writer followed the rules that mattered. What mattered was how trying to include those elements freed each of us from the writing ruts in our heads. The writing we heard that night was fresh, wonderfully varied, and wildly imaginative.

It was while I sat in that circle listening that I understood what we had created: The Intentional Ducati.

Stevan Allred

Home/Latest Event Contents  |  Editors  |  A Word of Explanation  |  Classes  |  Archive  |