100 words of revenge

It appears that a bit of phenomenon is taking place over at Chuck Wendig’s blog Terrible Minds.  Each Friday he broadcasts a Flash Fiction Challenge, invoking those willing, to come up with a 1000 word flash fiction story according to the topic or theme of the week, as set by Mister Wendig himself.

This week, however, the challenge was to do the same, but in 100 words.  Yes, write a story in ONE HUNDRED words.  Impossible (to be shouted in thick French accent)! You might protest, but alas mes cheries, it can be done.

I’ve had a crack at doing this once before when entering the 100 Words or Fewer contest, whose link can be found over to the right there under ‘Groovy Links’.  I received some pretty good feedback from my last entry into that contest, and although I didn’t win anything, I was keen to try it again.

So, with that deadline coming up again and with all the action happening at Terrible Minds, I felt that maybe the stars were aligning to send me a message.  Something along the lines of, “Get off your butt and write something.”  Not one to disagree with the star gods, I today took up the challenge.

So what is this week’s theme?  Revenge.  Muahahaha!

Check out all the details about Chuck’s challenge here.  Meanwhile, here’s my entry:

A Royal Retribution

Perched high on her dais, the Queen looked down upon the people of her kingdom.

The nobles shifted uncomfortably, their garments glittering in the afternoon light.  Beyond them, the stench of the penniless beggars rudely invaded her nostrils.

In a magnificent show of dignified ceremony she bowed low to her people and proclaimed,

“Had he remained loyal, I would have seen fit to let him live.”

Yet it was neither these words, nor the sharp sound of the sword being unsheathed that they would remember, but her gracefulness as she knelt to receive the cold blade for assassinating their King.

~storytelling nomad~

Ending Short Stories

In correlation to my previous post regarding my frustration with the lack of plot in my novel, I found this post at Foetal Positions very interesting.

When writing a story, I often find that knowing my ending acts as a good guide in navigating what will happen in the middle.  I have always written short stories with an ending in mind, which is partly why I’ve found starting my novel without having a vague outline of the ending so arduous. I think this post brings up some excellent points that can be attributed to any story, short or long, especially regarding ‘theme’.

It isn’t the first time I’ve heard someone stress the importance of a theme in a story. In Jennifer Fallon‘s MasterClass Series, she pointed out the importance of, and how to identify, your theme:

Think about the dreaded question “So… what’s your story about?”

Do you start by saying “Well… it’s set on this world where…”

If you say that, then your world building is taking over the story.

If you start by saying “It’s about a boy (girl, dragon, sentient flu virus, etc) who…”, then your characters are probably driving your story.

Ask me what the Seconds Sons Trilogy is about, and I won’t tell you it’s about a world with two suns, or a boy who sets out to destroy a religion, I will tell you it’s about deciding if the end justifies the means.

That, you see, is my theme.

The theme is what carries the story along and steers characters to their destiny. Whether it be grief, good vs evil, journeys, betrayal, peace and war, coming of age, heroism, or love, a theme is what leaves you at the end of a great story reflecting what you have learnt and thinking about how all the pieces came together to make a point about something.

Check out the full ‘Ending Short Stories’ post below:

it’s a process that leaves me feeling like a camel in a tropical rainforest: confused. I’ve been writing a lot of short stories lately, as a break from “novelling” and writing poetry, though it’s the end of my school year, which means I can barely motivate myself to do anything.  But laziness aside, I struggle to end short stories. It’s not that I drag them out — I fiddle with the ending, the actual words on the page, and the way it closes. Shou … Read More

via foetal positions

~storytelling nomad~