Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More than a penny's worth

As you do everyday on your way to work you pass the Fountain of Fate and toss in your usual copper coin for good luck.

The coin plonks into the gently splashing water as usual. Followed by an extraordinary whoosh and this appears.

Everyone else is passing by as if nothing unusual were happening.

Well, crap, looks like you've been chosen! For ... something. But ... but you've got an overdue project. And a meeting with a potential patron whose work you need badly. And ... and a cat who pisses on your pillow if you don't feed him promptly at 6PM.

You move on but apparently she doesn't need the fountain for her watery spectacle.

Take it from there. (As usual, feel free to place this in any setting you wish.)

(Ah, sorry about the automatic postings while I was on vacation. Looks like I set the dates properly but not the times so they arrived by mail in chunks occasionally. And I'll see if I can fill in those missing Wednesdays over the next couple of days. :-)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Smacked by god

Photo by Nessa
Use each of the following words and phrases in a piece in any order that strikes you. (You can cut them up and draw from a pile.) "Smacked by god" can be used too if you wish. (What kind of smack? Upper case God or lower case god?)

My inclination is to cram all the words in at the beginning. Which can make for a surreal story! ;-) Someone suggested working with one or two at a time and building slowly. It's hard to contain the eagerness to get through the list but can result in better story flow!

Bad Magick
Sick of life
Goin' down
Forgive me
The journey

Titles from Awake by Godsmack.

Thursday, August 04, 2011


Catherine McEver has more
"never worn" baby shoes at her blog.
You have 140 characters (Twitter's limit) to write a complete story. That includes a character or characters, a problem and a satisfying stopping point. You may find it useful to do a lot of implying, using objects or stereotypes that encapsulate a lot of meaning in a word of two!

Ernest Hemingway (supposedly) wrote the quintessential micro-fiction with: "For sale, Baby shoes, Never worn." And that's only 33 characters!

I suspect key to the dramatic impact of those six words are two things: "baby shoes" supplies not just characters (father, mother and baby) with strong, easily grasped relationships but also an impending event; and "for sale" suggests that's the end of the story.

N.E. Lily likens the structure of Twitter fiction to jokes where there's the "set up" and the "climax". And many of them do read that way. Many others read like setups to a story rather than a complete story. And some actually do feel like a full story (in pill form perhaps ;-)

If you'd like to browse some to get a feel for what people have done with the form so far, there are links below.

Arjun Basu (arjunbasu), William Brazill (InstantFiction), Geoff Meeker (AStoryIn140) are all currently tweeting stories.

Thaumatrope has a collection of science fiction, fantasy and horror Stories and Serials. (Click on Read More after any of the serials to see all the tweets.) They stopped compiling Sept 3, 2010 but there's almost 2 years worth to page back through.

Nanoism and Picfic are both still collection conventional Twitter fiction.