Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Flash Fiction Piece


Joe Louis reading.







I drew an excellent first paragraph for my flash fiction story. And the middle came quickly. But I'm having a terrible time ending it. I didn't think of this as a problem when I thought of this idea. But we begin a story in a way that plays to our strengths as writers probably. It may be about atmosphere, character, plot, mood. We learn how to set it in motion. I usually begin with atmosphere rarer than the immediate statement of the problem. Just style really.

The paragraph I drew points in a definite direction. A direction that demands a good ending, a good plot. Unless I want to subvert that paragraph, I must head in that direction. I can't quite bring it off. I have two weeks still so I'm not worried yet. Not yet.

And here's another thing. In a longer piece, I might have time to prepare the reader for an unlikely ending. At this length, it will be a shot in the gut. And maybe it will have to be just that. Can you take it?

How's your story going?


BTW-Due to the confusion in my own life of late, I think at least one paragraph fell off the face of the earth. So if yours isn't up there, it's not because I didn't like it but because I lost it. If you resend it to me afterwards, I'll post it and we can all give it a crack.

14 comments:

John McFetridge said...

Yes, we can take it. Readers don't need to be too prepared.

I was gifted with a terrific paragraph.

Charles Gramlich said...

That's a very good point, that writers begin stories with their strengths. I do exactly that and I hadn't considered it that way before.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Ooh, I'm going to run up and see whose it was.
I don't think I realized it until I tried to write flash pieces, Charles. Then it stood out because I was using precious words to do it. Still coulnd't change.

Paul Brazill said...

The paragraph I was sent was tighter than a Yorkshireman in a 5 star hotel. Tense, exciting an REALLY well written. So, of course, I froze! However, I think I pulled it off. It was the longest thing I've written and I really enjoyed writing it.I'm really looking forward to Feb 10th!

sandra seamans said...

Some of the best flash has a shot to the gut ending and knowing you, you'll pull it off.

Mine's finished. The paragraph I got was so different from the way I write that I wasn't sure I'd be able to pull it off, but I think I did okay.

Gerald So said...

I'm finished, too. Looking forward to reading everyone's work.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I know I will be rewriting it on the 9th.

WellesFan said...

It's almost the nature of flash to end with a gut punch. As long as it fits with the story, there's no problem going with a punch.

Looks like I tend to start with a bang then fill in the situation and characters before ending with another bang. The paragraph I drew started with a well defined situation, so it took a couple tries to get my footing. Idea #4 seems to work, but I know I'll be tweaking it for the next two weeks.

r2 said...

Mine sent me off in a totally different direction. It led me into something a little more experimental than I've ever tried. Interesting challenge. Thanks for doing thei, Patti.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Maybe it was all a dream and she'll wake up in the shower.
No, let me reiterate it was a great beginning. It's me that's the problem.

Kieran said...

Like the G-man, I'm done, but I'll echo the sentiment that searing gut shots and twisted blindsides are essential for flash. I love scaring myself. If it's going according to plan, that's when I play God and laugh right in my characters precious hopes.

Sandra Scoppettone said...

I was paralyzed when I got mine. It's so totally different from anything I'd write. I gave it three tries, decided to give it one more before writing you to say I couldn't do it. Then, I did it.

I had no idea where I was going but I think I wrote what was required of me and hope it's fun to read.

pattinase (abbott) said...

The beginning of a way out emerges. Good to hear, it's not easy for the rest of you even if your standards are higher than mine.

Leon Basin said...

This was great! Thanks for sharing.