Well, Mr. Wendig has put forth another challenge, and I, of course, have accepted.
This week, the idea was to write a story in 100 words or less that is only 3 sentences long.
I've written, I've checked and I've rewritten this a couple of times. I still made the silly mistake of not separating the sentences into separate paragraphs (I posted the entry proper in the comments section of his site), but I'll pick that up here and say no more about it.
"Caffeine and Armageddon" [format updated]
“The End is Nigh,” read the jaunty legend on the coffee cup, parked
beneath a line circumscribed half an inch up from the base of the mug. As the computer before him whirred and beeped and clicked through the
boot sequence, he took a long draught, glimpsing a matching line drawn
inside the cup; seeing it made him smile wryly.
A sudden blast of noise
from outside caught his attention and he turned, wide-eyed, to look out
of the window as the cool Vermont morning was obliterated by an
onrushing fury of flames and destruction.
1) Fuck, is flash fiction difficult
or what? Some people responded to the challenge with six or seven word
stories, each sentence two words long. I'll admit now that I found it
hard to see the point of that, not because it is not worthy, but because
that much pith requires serious effort to get right and none of them
had seemed to put that in. I used to write lots of renga and haiku and I
developed a feeling for the difference between my dabblings and verses
that were masterful; the words were doing tons and tons of work in the
best poems, so much so that I found them almost hard to read, or at
least hard to read fast. So, in short, the briefer the format, the more
difficult it becomes.
2) I checked and rechecked those
100 words three or four times. I took me an hour to draft, redraft,
correct and upload. I made changes to the uploaded text, I cut words out
seconds before hitting "submit" and I changed the sounds of words to
better suit the sense of the sentence. Now, novels and short stories are
difference beasts, but come on, that's pretty solid stuff. I'd be
retired before I finished a novel at that rate. Still not quite happy with the final result though.
is more. The final submission is shorter than the first draft. It is
also, in my opinion, better. This isn't earth shattering news, but it
does reinforce the advice of many sage voices.
4) Still suck at endings. Not happy with the rhythm of the last few words at the minute; suggestions appreciated.