Same Song, Three Verses
a playful flash prompt
A Welch Witch
“Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.” ~Henri Matisse
As I mentioned last month, these newsletters will become a bit more sporadic now as I finish my manuscript of The Art of Flash Fiction. But I do have something for you today! Today, let’s say we embrace some playfulness and boldness in our flash.
Write the same ONE paragraph story THREE TIMES. Keep repeating the same elements, but change something in each version that takes the story in a new direction. See how this changes the overall arc from the first to the last story. See how you can create a sense of movement and rising tension simply by moving things around. Do not be afraid to get a bit strange or surreal in this. Keep subverting the reader’s expectations.
An example is my own “Three Likely Stories” which was published in The Forge Literary Magazine.
If you need a nudge, here are some words/images you might incorporate:
an extra dry martini
“I make my own rules.”
Try using echoes. Repeat images, words, or lines of dialogue. Allow for the absurd. Lean into it, even. And give your piece a smashing title!
Kim Magowan’s new collection, HOW FAR I’VE COME, is available from Gold Wake Press. Get it! Avital Gad Cykman’s beautiful book LIGHT REFLECTION OVER BLUES is also out now from Ravenna Press! Meg Tuite has a book (WHITE VAN) coming out soon. And so does Tara Stillions Whitehead (THE YEAR OF THE MONSTER). Michelle Ross’s new collection, THEY KEPT RUNNING, will be out this Spring. And Tommy Dean’s collection, HOLLOWS, is available for preorders now from Alternating Current Press. I was privileged to read advance copies of all four of these and they are FANTASTIC, so heads up!
My craft book recommendation is a forthcoming book by Michael Loveday which I was also lucky to read in advance: UNLOCKING THE NOVELLA-IN-FLASH out soon from Ad Hoc Fiction!
BEFORE YOU GO…
There’s still time to register for Literary Cleveland’s 2nd annual online Flash Fiction Festival. There will be an abundance of daily offerings from February 20th - 26th. You can sign up for individual workshops or for the whole event.
I will be taking part in the opening day panel discussion along with flash luminaries Vanessa Chan, Desiree Cooper, and Lindsay Hunter.
Then on Monday, I’ll be teaching a 90 minute session, “The Flash Writer as Mosaicist: Creating Story from Fragments” from 7:00 - 8:30 Eastern Time.
Go HERE for more information and to register. Deadline for registration: Feb. 18th.
Thanks so much for stopping by! I am so grateful for your enthusiasm and support of my work.
Love & Light,