This little piggy was not created as an ornament, but has been donned by many of my “Christmas Trees” (in quotes because instead of a tree, I have used a hat rack, or gathered fallen branches). A festive and naughty pig, note the Mardi Gras beads and dirty feet, perhaps she represents the greed, gluttony and commercialism that threaten the true meaning of the season. Or maybe, she’s just a very fun pig.
#vss very short story
When she finished decorating the tree, Martha enjoyed a well deserved moment to herself. She put on some Christmas music and plugged in the lights. Blowing steam from her fresh cup of cocoa, she felt warm in the joy of the season. She was pulled from her Christmas cocoon by a whisper of snorts and giggles. She followed the noise to her tree. She should have known better than to put Mardi Gras pig by boa-sparkle-pants Santa.
Today’s Poetry Prompt and Poem
Today’s prompt is from PAD Chapbook Challenge Day 4
For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Whosoever (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Whosoever Objects to This Union,” “Whosoever Wants to Eat My Candy,” or “Whosoever Doesn’t Wash Their Hands After Flushing.”
Whosoever Is Trespassing Here
Whosoever is trespassing here
Be ye thief or hunter, or even reindeer
Let it be known that you’re in the wrong
This be the place you do not belong
And hear ye this, my solemn vow
Thy presence I will not allow
Away with thee, run quick with fear
Whosoever trespasseth here
-from Revision And Self-Editing (Write Great Fiction) by James Scott Bell.
To deepen the character during revision try: The Pull-Back Technique
- Brainstorm a list of your Main Character’s (MC) traits.
- What is an absolutely extreme action your MC could take because of or guided by this trait. List at least five for each trait.
- Are these actions too extreme? Would your MC taking this action impact the plot too much? Try to find some you could incorporate into the story without impacting the plot.
- For the actions that were too extreme, try pulling back 25%. Now can you use them?
Example: My MC is a perfectionist. Extreme actions could include:
- Missing his grandson’s soccer game because he spent an entire day trying to remove every piece of clover from the lawn.
- Yelling at his son because he returned the screwdriver to the wrong hook in the garage.
- Missing his daughter’s wedding because he didn’t like the crease in his pants and had to return them to the rental.
- Leaf-blowing fir-needles off of the driveway in the rain until every single one is off of the pavement.
- Laying out his clothes for the next morning even though he is retired.
In this example, I could probably use 1, 4 and 5 as they are to show his extreme behavior. Number 2 could fit, if I use the Pull-Back Technique. He could notice the screwdriver out of place and use it as a “teaching moment.” He could call his son into the garage and ask him what was wrong with the screwdriver, or what he was thinking when he put the screwdriver where he did. This would give the reader insight into the MC’s mindset and also show his relationship with his son. I’m guessing his son does not appreciate his father’s need for perfect placement.
Today’s a great day to write a flash fiction story. I am going to start loading my very short stories to Hit Record. As I do, I’ll look for one to develop into a longer piece today. Look for my favorite lines at #FlashFicHive on Twitter later this evening.
Don’t Forget To Read!
I have a friend who has recently finished his first story that he is interested in publishing. He asked me how to submit his story and my response was READ! He needs to read as many literary magazines as he can find. He needs to read tons of short stories. He needs to read his favorite literary magazines’ submission pages, carefully. He needs to read interviews with the editors of those magazines.
Because I’m writing poetry and flash fiction this month, I need to read magazines that feature these forms. I’ve written about some great flash fiction magazines this year:
More flash fiction magazines:
Advice for writing flash fiction:
I found a list of literary magazines recommended for poetry. I plan to read them extensively: Best Places to Submit Poetry