Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Flash Fiction Challenge

Howdy-ho!  So, as part of the FF&P 60 Days to Success challenge, I'm participating in a few workshops, one of which is called "Writing Short to Master the Story Arc."  Our instructor challenged us to make a go at writing flash fiction, which I've always been curious about but never tried.  The prompt was to write a story in less than 250 words using the word "spider"--here's what I came up with:
The Weaver of Fate, 246 words

Jace tore the bandage off his shoulder and looked into the mirror. The spider stared right back.

The tribal tattoo covered the top left quarter of his warm brown back and had spilled his blood and marked his body. He hoped the gesture would appease the eight-legged weaver of fate. Because, clearly, he’d done something to piss her off.

Jace splashed cool water on his face. He wore his grief and exhaustion like a mantle. His brother’s suicide. His cousin’s murder. His grandmother’s soon-to-be-fatal diabetes. When was it going to be enough?

He shrugged his shirt on over the seeping ink and freed his iron-straight black hair from its ponytail. Just as the spider could break the web of connectedness between people, she could create it. He would just have to have faith.

“Can you do a spider?” came a muffled female voice.

Jace flew out of the bathroom and into the lobby of the tattoo parlor. She glanced over her shoulder when the door clicked behind him. Their eyes met. Flashed. Caressed. Connected.

“Why a spider?” Jace asked in a strained voice.

Her brow furrowed, then she grinned. “Because the spider is the weaver of all things. Her web connects us to something bigger.”

He nodded as his heart knit together in the presence of its soul mate. The relief was so enormous it nearly brought him to his knees. His sacrifices were finally enough. At long last, the weaver of fate smiled on him.

It was actually a lot of fun, and very interesting to try to tell a story in less than 250 words.  It forces you to focus on THE story, THE main conflict.  Give flash fiction a try, and let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading,

PS--naelany threw down a challenge, and I just couldn't pass it up!  Her terms:  100 words exactly (gulp!) and use the word "petal."  How'd I do?:

The cherry tree’s pink petals danced like snowflakes to the ground.  They provided her solace, life in a field of death.

The woman knelt.  Brushed blossoms off block letters.  You should be able to see the name, she thought.  She pulled the dead stems out of the cup.  Slid the new bouquet in.  Fluffed it.  Hoped it mattered.

But how could it?

How could flowers, even the ones from the flowering tree that had made her choose this plot for her mother, ever be enough to say, I love you, I miss you, My heart breaks that you’re not here?

(100 words)


Taryn Kincaid said...

Well done! And very Halloweeny!

(But I want to read on!)

Writing short doe help me focus, I've found. But 250 is WAY short. I'd still be clearing my throat by the time I'd used up my word count.

I need to get back to the FF&P loop. I'm only about 8 months behind on messages!

Laura Kaye said...

Thanks Taryn. The only thing about this challenge was, having create Jace, now he kinda won't leave me alone! lol Sigh.

Thanks for dropping by!

naelany said...

*grins* nicely done! Heh, now you know why I love doing drabbles so much ;-) (and those are 100 words, exactly ;-) )

Laura Kaye said...

Gulp. 100 words. So few! You always do a nice job with them!

naelany said...

haha yes, it's a definite challenge, but fun! Try it! Need a prompt? ;-)


(thank you, by the way ;-))

Laura Kaye said...

I accept, naelany! So, what do you think?

naelany said...

Woohoo! Go Laura! Great job! :-)

So much said, in so few words. Very vivid imagery!

javamomma said...

I loved both of your entries. Both had so much feeling and were a great use of the prompt! I just completed my first original fic contest that had a 600 word limit. It was incredibly difficult to tell the story in that short of time. But it really focused the writing. Thanks so much for posting this!

Laura Kaye said...

Very cool javamomma! Good luck on the contest! :)