Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Against the grain

The muse didn't just touch me this morning; she smacked me up along side of the head. And so I spent five hours, from six to eleven a.m., writing a piece of flash fiction.

Folks have differing definitions of flash fiction, but the one that seems to be shared more and more is a complete story under one thousand words.

A complete story presents all the necessary elements of fiction -- characterization, setting, conflict and resolution; not an easy chore in so few words. It's like sticking a moving dismount from a balance beam; difficult to pull off but a thing of beauty when done right.

I think that happened today. Against The Grain is a blend of humor, science fiction and murder mystery. It is set at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle and is the second appearance, in one of my stories, of Seattle Police Detectives John Osbourne and Dorothy Gale. I like the two of them well enough that I hope to involve them in future stories.

Writing this way is so much fun, and when the characters start to whisper in my ear, to tell me how the story should progress, it is such a high. The words rush by and I have no idea the time has passed.

As to whether or not I stuck my dismount; I just sent it off to Jordan and Camille at Everyday Fiction. We shall see.