Hand Sanitizer, A Child’s Sled, Succubus, Semaphore Flags…Say What?!

So what do all those things have in common? A story of course! This week I’m participating in The Iron Writer ChallengeThere are four of us in taking part in Challenge 22. I had 4 days, these 4 prompts and 500 words to make it happen. It’s been a fun experience already. 

Semaphore Flags

Go check it out! If you enjoy my story, The Event, please VOTE. And if you really like it, pass it along to some of your friends. Here’s a sneak peak:

The Event

The wind echoed in the darkness and ricocheted off the surrounding jagged peaks. It was the sixth month of the sixth year. The time had come. Ashal waited. 

 

In the days leading up to the Event those at The Refuge lived on as normal, though it was never far from their minds… 

 

CLICK HERE to read the rest of The Event. (The fourth story listed)

I’d also love to hear your thoughts so if you have anything to say drop me a comment here…or there…you know where to fine me. =)

Voting is open for the next few days. Thanks Everyone!

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How To Say More With Less – An Interview With Robert Bruce

Brevity. It’s fun to say and challenging to achieve. For me brevity is that annoying voice in the corner that keeps telling me I can say more with less. To cut, tighten, and pare it down. It challenges me and I’m, no doubt, better for it.

Recently I had the privilege of interviewing Robert Bruce.  He is the VP of Marketing at CopyBlogger by day, and a Master of brevity, writing very short stories at RobertBruce.com by night (or maybe also by day, I don’t really know, but that’s beside the point). The point is Robert is an artist. He manages to paint complex stories in a few vivid strokes. He doesn’t know it but Robert introduced me to Flash/Micro Fiction.

So in the true spirit of Brevity. Here are Robert’s thoughts…

Stacey: How did you become interested and start writing
very short stories?

Robert: I have a sickness for words, and I am a very impatient man.

Stacey:. Can you tell me about the process you go through
in creating one of your stories?

RobertIt usually starts with some kind of hook that I find interesting. If you can get your hands on one of those, you then hang it on a very basic plot. Of course, there’s not a lot of room to move around in these things, but I’m not going for a detailed literary inventory. When they work, the reader is left to fill in the gaps with her own imagination, which is much more powerful than anything I could ever write down for her.

Stacey: Which one of your stories continues to speak to you despite being done writing it?

Robert:  Soon as I write them, I forget them. I need to get the next one down, and then the one after that.

Stacey: Out of all your characters who would you most like to meet in real life?

Robert: None. I find al of these characters interesting in one way or another, but to meet any of them would instantly strip that away. Just like life, right? 

***

I think we all can learn a lot (and say a lot less!) from Robert’s points. Finding hooks and filling in just enough to entice the reader but not so much there’s nothing left to imagine is a challenge. When it’s done right it’s amazing. And whether you are writing a post on health and fitness or writing the next great novel, when well executed, brevity gives a power and punch to your work that make these stories hard to forget. Ironically, it creates more voice.

Thanks so much Robert, for sharing your thoughts on brevity and story! It’s been fun.

You can read Robert’s stories at RobertBruce.com

Or follow him on twitter at 

Epic – The Drafts

The Drafts I have some exciting things planned for this week. Now that the major writing project I’ve been working on is coming to a close I am excited about what’s ahead.

It’s time for The Drafts again this cold wintry morning. There is snow on the ground in Dublin. It’s a rare event here. People have mixed feelings, most of which are not happy ones. Me. I find the snow for this native US Midwesterner warming. It’s ironic, I know. I’ve been smiling about that all morning. =)

In honour of the snow I have some micro fiction for you today.

It’s also to go along with an interview on brevity with the person who introduced me to flash  and micro fiction. It’s going to be a good week! Stay tuned! For now…

________________________________________________________

Epic

She’d been happy to walk in the only snow of the year. Then one step changed everything. As she could now see her feet above her head, she knew she was going to come down hard. It was an epic fall. And everyone but her remembered it. The 2013 snow and subsequent fall forever erased from her mind.

_______________________________________

I keep debating about whether to keep or take out the last sentence. Is it stronger without? With? Share your thoughts on this or whatever else is on your mind this morning.

Chat soon.

 

The Denial – The Drafts

The Denial

He wore a turban on his head even though he was an Episcopalian. He just liked the feel of it and the assumption there was long hair hidden inside. In reality his scalp was sore from the large amounts of glue he had to use daily to make his denial look otherwise.

***

Happy New Year everyone! It’s been pretty quiet around here but I’m ready to start kicking up some noise. Hold me to that!

This weeks Drafts is a piece that I’ve had ruminating for a while. Frankly, I’ve felt nervous to share it. But today is Monday and I’ve been making a point to be less self censoring, (even if that means causing a stir sometimes) so I decided to go for it. A small step. But hey, everybody has to take their first steps before they start running.

Hope you’ve been enjoying your new year so far! Chat soon!