There are a number of flash fiction challenges on WordPress that are really fun to take part in and certainly do hone our skill at brevity.. Here is a post from Joy Lennick’s archives on the subject and an example of her own flash fiction.
It started around 5.00 a.m…My ‘word soldiers’ mutinied and I had one hell of a job controlling them after that. It must happen to all writers occasionally. Doesn’t it? You marshal your troops, give then a pep talk and expect them to obey orders. Do they heck!
“Right! This morning it’s an article on minimalism. Someone? Anyone…?” Silence and then verbal diorrhea ending in chaos. Someone babbled about ‘Style’; another about ‘Chocolate’(?) A third smart-arse suggested ‘Discipline’. The cheek of the man; he only added fuel to the fire…I found it hard to cope, so arose and made a cup of tea. Sanity prevailed. The troops were still silent when an upstart interrupted my reverie and piped up: ‘Minimalism’ and added a few ideas. I made him up to sergeant and gave him the rest of the day off.
The reason for all this nonsense? The discovery of the so-called ‘Queen of Minimalism:’ American writer Amy Hempel: ‘The Dog of the Marriage’ a collection of short stories. A warning! It’s not to everyone’s taste, but what is?! But and it’s a big BUT, as a writing exercise and lesson in pruning – especially for the short story writer – some of her work is well worth reading. The expression ‘wheat from chaff’ comes to mind. And so I approached my key-board with something approaching enthusiasm. This is my first attempt. See if it helps or grabs you.
Outside Autumn glowed golden. Inside it was Winter: the room icy. The decibel level of the grand-father clock increased alarmingly. Bird-song was strident this morning she thought.
Looks lethal as darts passed between them; time grew heavy, laboured. Remembered niceties, loving smiles, gestures, tried hammering at her door. It was locked.
She poured her own coffee; heard the decisive ‘clonk’ as the cup met the saucer. Her voice was on alert, eager for action…
The wall between them was paper-thin; the silent words pregnant with doom.
©Joy Lennick 2013
About Joy Lennick
Having worn several hats in my life: wife, mum, secretary, shop-keeper, hotelier; my favourite is the multi-coloured author’s creation. I am an eclectic writer: diary, articles, poetry, short stories and five books. Two books were factual, the third as biographer: HURRICANE HALSEY (a true sea adventure), fourth my Memoir MY GENTLE WAR and my current fiction novel is THE CATALYST. Plenty more simmering…
A selection of books by Joy Lennick
One of the reviews for My Gentle War
I found this book totally enchanting, not just for the way it was written (which was completely original being unfettered by any rules on writing and therefore delivered with great feeling). It evoked some long lost memories from my childhood, of family forgotten or misplaced by faulty memory. I thought of my grandmother clasping a homemade loaf of bread under her arm, giving it a good buttering, then with a large bread knife, sawing it off and setting a ‘doorstep’ sized slice free for jam or honey to follow. I wasn’t born at the time of the war, which doesn’t spoil any of this account and although I know it from history books and oft heard tales, was not a good time to live through, yet I’m left thinking there was another side to these times, told here with great fondness. Sometimes I think we’ve lost a great deal for all our modern ways. This is a lovely book and worth a read. Pat McDonald British Crime Author.
Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Joy-Lennick/e/B00J05CJLY/
And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Joy-Lennick/e/B00J05CJLY
Find all the books, read other reviews and follow Joy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3124773.Joy_Lennick
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