I thought I’d start NaBloPoMo off with a relatively sedated post about short stories. Partly because it’s ironic that this month’s blog post a day runs in tandem with NanoWrimo, which I have yet to complete.
I’m still not sure when a short story becomes a novella if I’m honest and I know short stories come in all kinds of delightful forms. Epic poetry, 50 word shorts. I’m among those that was genuinely blown away when Knock by Fredric Brown was circulated:
How bloody brilliant is THAT? Going into slightly creepy and obsessive writer territory here, but I think when I first read it, I got chills. Two sentences that say more and provoke more than so many stories do in 100,000 words (yes Twilight, I’m looking at you).
I remember when we were living in London I briefly joined a creative writing group that set weekly challenges and I was most taken by the 50-word story week, where we were tasked with coming up with five stories that were exactly 50 words, no more no less. I think this is one of the best exercises for budding writers to try their hand at; it asks you to to craft a beginning, middle and an end in what would essentially be an opening paragraph in a book. It’s a been a long time since I had a go at one of these bad boys, so I thought I’d start blogging month off with one. This one doesn’t really have the construct of a story, but it was fun nonetheless:
Flight or Fight
“Jess knew that those final minutes between life and death would be her most defining. She could wrap her arms protectively around the crying child, or hold the hand of the praying pensioner. Instead, she took a deep breath, pointed the gun at the pilot’s head and pulled the trigger.”
Would love to see some of yours. Go!