This morning I had a delivery of five big cylinders of gas – essential for the heating here in a country where the temperature can drop by 20 degrees centigrade in one day. The gorgeous delivery man would grace any photo shoot. As I went upstairs to open the storage cupboard I noticed that a bird of paradise is just about to pop. The phone rang as I reached the top step and I had to run to answer it, slipping down and nearly re-fracturing my ankle on route.
All of the above are the tiny incidents which make up a day and provide the inspiration for a writer. For example
What if one of the tanks was leaking and an explosion ensued?
What if I gave in to my feelings and grabbed hold of the young delicious man?
The release of the flower from its case could be described in a thousand ways but what if I never got to see it or my villain knocked it off?
What if the phone call changed my life – a lottery win or a contact from someone from the past?
What if my hero broke his or her ankle and was unable to escape a threatening situation?
All around us the everyday mundane moments provide wonderful inspiration for our stories. What are yours?
In the beginning it is a twig. As it matures, it seeks out new places to attach its twisted structure. In favourable conditions small bubbles pop out; slowly at first, then multiplying until each competes for a place to bask in the life-force. When no vacancy remains in the tightly formed bunch, the bubbles fall, expelling the gluey toxin.
I watched the vine grow in him. Unseen, just one rouge cell germinated. Later, gathering momentum it twisted through his perfect body, seeking out new routes. Multiplying. With its deadly toxin. A labyrinth of branches too strong to be defeated.
It took his life-force and, therefore, mine.
Thanks go out to Madison for running her Friday Fictioneers.
Join this week as writers from around the globe gather on Friday at Madison-woods.com to share 100-word stories based on a photo prompt:
How to become a Fictioneer
- Write a 100-word story (more or less, and it’s okay if you didn’t use this picture for inspiration)
- Post your story to your blog on Friday (or just link to it tomorrow if you wrote earlier)
- If you’re a WordPress user, include “Friday Fictioneers” as one of your tags so you’ll show up on the tag search.
- Comment on Madison’s story Friday and post a link to your story.
- Tweet your link to @madison_woods and include the tag #FridayFictioneers if you’re on Twitter.
- Follow the read and comment schedule listed above the picture. If the comment forms allow, leave your link on all your comments, so others can find you and us later on.
- Check back often because participants post throughout the day.
- Get psyched up to do this again next week
Yesterday I went to a book club meeting where we reviewed a contemporary fiction novel and I was fascinated by the response of the readers. As a writer, these groups are a great way to find out what works in writing and what doesn’t.
This particular novel was set in the 1950’s and some of the members of the club could clearly remember life during that era. Sadly some of the historical facts and social context of the novel did not match their recollections. Small details such as character names were unrealistic for that time period.
The story line of the novel was very depressing. A complaint of the book club was that there was no ebb and flow of emotion in the story and this meant that the more positive ending was deemed unbelievable.
The working background of some of the characters did not match their economic standing; for example, the type of house owned in a very exclusive area by someone who was working middle class in that time period.
There were many more comments which I have put into my writer’s file to remind myself of what I must try to avoid when producing work to publish.
I belong to two book clubs. One group is totally women and centres around tea and cake but we do have excellent discussions. The other group is mixed sex and age and less structured however with a dynamic interaction which, with a few too many members, can become a shouting match to be heard.
Are you a member of a book club? Is it organised in a structured manner or is it like my free-for-all group? I would love to hear about your experiences and any interesting books which you have discussed.
I have been working on a new short story today and saved it as “Sailing” unfinished. Any comments would be very welcome as this was written very much as a stream of consciousness type of story. I have decided to leave it hanging at the end. Does that work? Sometimes readers find that too disturbing. What do you think?
Later today I will work on a piece of flash fiction. I love how this type of writing forces me to consider the impact and exact meaning of each word.
What are you writing? Do you have a favourite genre?
My head hurts. I have been staring at the computer all day. Writing and thinking. Trying to create good quality writing. Choosing words, then changing them. Obeying the rules and then dismissing them.
When I was young I wrote directly into a book or a journal or onto paper. Now I often write onto a computer. The biggest difference is that my young words were recorded forever whereas now at the stroke of a key I am able to delete my efforts. Yet when I read those words of long ago there is great emotion in their spontaneity and I suspect that my present day editing may destroy that. In fact when I think about my own youth I treasure the memories of how I jumped into situations without restraint and how unedited life was. Although I do not want to go back to those times I value their place in my life story.
I am told as a writer to engage all of the senses and relate these to the reader. A more complete image will form in his or her mind. It is difficult sometimes to describe the smell of snow and air that is not tainted by pollution; or to describe silence which fills the entire being with peace; or to find words to paint a picture which is beyond the imagination. Although I am not a poet I do love reading poetry and can imagine how difficult it can be to identify that one perfect word which will fully embrace the thought, the senses and still fit into the pattern comfortably creating harmonious verse.
This photo was taken in the Canadian Rockies, well known for its beautiful landscape. I found it impossible to describe it properly to people after I returned from our trip. We had wonderful photos but they did not convey the sense of wonder or peace or awe I felt. This is my struggle as a writer.
After the trauma of losing my flash fiction efforts yesterday to the big space in the sky I decided to take a break from the writing this morning and headed off to the beach with a number of other zumba followers. We danced for two hours and I returned with a much more enthusiastic approach to my computer. Even though it betrayed me in the worse way possible yesterday, I have made peace with it. One always gets told the machine is only as good as the info you put in but I actually quite liked my little effort yesterday! Madison I am looking forward to the next photo and will try again.
My novel has been sitting neglected ever since I discovered the joys of the blog so I have given myself a stern lecture about time management and shall be putting more hours in this week. I have even started to put time blocks into my diary.
I was speaking with a friend about the discussions on the blogs about punctuation and she admitted that she had developed a habit of putting an exclamation mark at the end of most of her sentences. That made me look at my writing and I think that at times I also indiscriminately do the same. Maybe it is because I like to be quite expressive in my speech and that transfers over to my writing. Or maybe it’s because I am a bit deaf (as I’m not yet considered old it must be due to the rather loud music concerts I attended as a youngster) and so everything has to be stressed!
So followers forgive me if I go over the top on the !!!!! but be thankful you are not listening to me as that can be so much worse!