All the Small Things: Depicting the randomization of grief in (digital) short fiction

Lynda Clark (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    When I read scholar Tia-Monique Uzor’s recent tweet about how she had been thinking about grieving as a practice and how to hold spaces for collective grief and to make room for grief over seemingly small things, I realized that this was what I had been doing when writing fiction that was obliquely about my sister’s death. The collective grief I had sought was not the public ritual of the funeral, but the asynchronous sharing of short fiction. I needed to grieve not only the big, obvious losses of my sister and way of life during COVID-19 but also all the ‘seemingly small things’ that come together to constitute my experiences of loss. This article is an attempt to reflect on that process and how complex narrative structures can provide a tool for expressing complex emotions and experiences. It considers grief as a multifarious topic and writing techniques for conveying that multiplicity. Finally, it explores technology, randomization and text generation as tools which further expand writers’ expressive capabilities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7-17
    Number of pages11
    JournalShort Fiction in Theory and Practice
    Volume12
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022

    Keywords

    • COVID-19
    • Twine
    • death
    • electronic literature
    • interactive narrative
    • narrative structure
    • text generation

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