It's Flash-Fiction Day: How Will You Celebrate?

Finals are over. (Hear me take a deep sign of relief.)

This morning I've finally had some time to catch up on some blog reading. Today Melanie Conklin wrote about National Flash-Fiction Day in the U.K, which is today. Even though it's mainly celebrated in the U.K. It is quickly becoming an international event. I did not know about it, but now that I do, I'm intent on celebrating. :)

I do not write nearly as much flash-fiction as I used to, but I still love it. Flash-fiction is usually written based on prompts, and is generally a quick read. Often times there is a set amount of time given for the piece to be written and edited to further push the writer to their limits. From my experience, it's been about 30 minutes or less. It usually highlights a specific scene, which challenges the writer to get to the point and peak the reader's interests quickly. Often this is difficult because we all know that writer's can turn three minutes into five pages. lol It's our love affair with words, what can we say?

I took a few moments and wrote a little something as a offering to this special day. I hope that you will do the same. I'll even give you a prompt: ocean. Happy Writing. :)

Photo by Favim.

"Ocean Talk"
(C) Copyright 2012

My taffeta dress brushed his right shoulder by accident as I walked by.  Our eyes met with a quick glance that was broken by my hurried walk.  I felt that I could hardly breathe in the room full of elegant people.  Their fake laughs and their forced conversations caused a wave of anxiety that I needed to escape.  When the outside breeze met my face, I took a breath of peace.  I soaked up the ocean’s air and listened to its angry roar. The dark waves crashed on the massive boat’s hull. I watched, intrigued, while they slapped fiercely the vessel which carried me and all the rest.

That’s when I heard his voice for the first time.  It was strong, deep, unlike anything I had heard before.  Then there was another voice.  A weaker voice.  One that sounded frightened.  They were arguing over something I could not make out.  Their voices rose.  My curiosity peaked, so I decided to take a better look.  The strong man had the week one bent over the railing of the ship.  My heart began to beat faster as if my own safety was threatened.

“I warned you,” the strong man whispered.

The small man said nothing, but his quivering was apparent even from my angle.

I peaked around the pole of the deck to see if anyone else was watching.  There was no one.  The blissful music from the inside glared out onto the deck.  The laughter of the people, the clinking of glasses, and their ignorant bliss made this moment somewhat poetic.  I stood in amazement not knowing what to do but knowing exactly what would happen next.

“So long, Jimmy,” he said as he gave the man a final push that sent him plummeting down into the angry waves.

I quietly gasped.

The man stood there for a moment in utter calmness. He straightened his tie and secured his shiny cuffs.

That’s when it happened, for the second time. He glanced, unexpectedly, at me standing nervously behind the pole. Our eyes locked, and in some kind of secret telepathy, there was an agreement between us. The glance was broken as I quickly walked away.


Lena Winfrey Seder said...

Flash-fiction is a good exercise that all writers should try from time to time. It is good to challenge ourselves to write a decent piece in a short amount of words. It is also interesting to see the different types of stories that come from one prompt. Some flash-fiction pieces could even be turned into longer pieces, if the writer chooses. Flash-fiction can be used as a creative stimulator. Thanks for sharing Vanessa!

Vanessa Eccles said...

Lena, you're totally right. It's a great exercise to stimulate the imagination. :)

Melanie Conklin said...

That's downright creepy! I enjoyed it. It makes me wonder where they are, what kind of an event is happening, and when they will meet again. It's a great little story, and a great opening for an even bigger one!

Often, people put their MC in danger in the first scene of a novel. That doesn't do it for me. I don't care about the MC yet. This is a great way to have life or death conflict that is believable, and allows us to learn about the MCs while enjoying the heightened conflict.

Wouldn't you want to know how it would effect her, having witnessed this, over the years? Or is she accustomed to seeing this kind of thing b/c of her life circumstances?

Great work!

Vanessa Eccles said...

Melanie, those are some great questions that even I don't have answers to. I do a lot of "scene writing," where I see bits and pieces of a story. That was what this was. I keep all of these scenes, and I've often put them together to make larger pieces.

When I write, I never know what's going to happen next. I enjoy reading it and discovering the story just as if I were the reader.

Writers have so much fun. lol

Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. And thanks for inspiring me to write this post. :)