He was winded from the long hike up the mountain. It had been easier as a young man. He negotiated the overgrown path, had an uncertain moment with a dislodged rock and his cane. There was a rest-worthy rock just ahead, he remembered.
He had sat there with her over fifty years ago and admired the way the wind at this altitude danced with her hair. He gazed down at the weathered slab of granite, her bones sprinkled over the surface like crumbs. Over fifty years… And he’d still gotten away with it.
100 Words…doesn’t seem like much, but once you’ve got them down there are a few touch choices to make. Jason Gurley offers these three vital questions to ask yourself before considering if you’re Flash Fiction is truly complete:
- Is there a definable plot? By this, go back to the comment made by Guzman. Can you identify the three simple parts of this story? Do you have a clear beginning? A strong centerpiece? A definitive ending? If you don’t, you’ve got nothing more than a snippet of a larger story. Start editing.
- Does your story make its point and drive it home, hard? Most stories, due to their abrupt beginnings and sudden endings, leave the reader breathless when finished. Though not all stories need to be forceful to fit into this small genre, it is a trend that has followed flash throughout the years. Still, if your story doesn’t have that hard-hitting theme and end by smacking into a wall, don’t worry; it’s not a necessity.
- Is every word absolutely essential to the story? Or have you left unnecessary sentences here and there, or maybe a few unneeded descriptives? “The quick brown dog jumped over the lazy fox” is a vivid way of stating the facts, but think of it this way: You’re writing this story from margin to margin. Those margins are solid walls — there’s no going past them. Give yourself five lines, or ten if you’re less daring, and consider the first and last line your floor and ceiling. To tell your story, you’ve got to make the most of the space. “The dog jumped over the fox” leaves you with much more room to move forward, to expand.
Want more Flash Fiction? Visit these Friday Fictioneers for more 100-word heaven! (If you have a flash fiction piece to share, please leave a link in Comments!) You can also visit the originator of the photo prompts, Madison Woods, or follow the gang on Twitter – #FridayFictioneers.