Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Writing Short - Micro Fiction

I recently participated in a workshop where the leader professed writing short fiction on a regular basis would help an author develop the skill required to write in a concise manner. Okay, that's good, but I like writing micro fiction because it's fun and the exercise jump-starts the muse.

What exactly is micro fiction? After reading several articles, I found it's hard to define. For my purposes, micro fiction is a tale written within 200 words with a definable plot—a clear beginning, a strong middle, and a definitive ending. Oh, yeah, and every word must be essential to the story. Yikes.

During the workshop, we were given a word to spark our imaginations. For example: spiders.

A caller to the Car Talk guys on NPR radio inspired Sylvia's Worst Nightmare. The caller had a car infested with black widow spiders. Big ick!


Sylvia's Worst Nightmare
by Dawn Marie Hamilton
(195 words)

Shit. Late for work again.

The early morning California sun blinded. Sylvia slid into the cracked leather seat of her red MGB midget, and her short black skirt rode up her thighs. With a sigh, she inserted the key into the ignition. "Please start."

Click, click, click, click, click, vroom. "Yes!"

She pulled out of the driveway and headed for the city.

With one hand on the wheel, she scratched the raised bite mark near the vein on her wrist and shuddered. That too familiar prickly sensation of eight tiny phantom legs crawled over her skin. Revulsion chills crept down her spine. She despised spiders.

Breathe, Sylvia. Breathe. She inhaled air deep into her lungs.

Entering the freeway, she zipped across the lanes to the left and sped with the traffic. Holy shit! Her worst nightmare crawled across the dashboard. She grabbed a used tissue from the passenger seat garbage pile and squashed the damn creepy crawly.

Her thigh itched like crazy. She swallowed hard and glanced down. A black widow skittered across her leg, and she spun the wheel.

The crunch of metal was the final sound. She'd never be late for work again.

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My recent news:

Just Beyond the Garden Gate from my Garden Gate series is a finalist in the Paranormal category of the (FAB) Finally a Bride contest.

Just Beyond the Garden Gate is a finalist in the Paranormal category of the Wallflower contest and Sea Panther from my Crimson Storm series is a finalist in the Rose category of the Wallflower contest.

I've joined author Pat McDermott as a contributor at the food lover's blog, Kitchen Excursions. Come for a visit and check out the tasty recipes.

7 comments:

Pat McDermott said...

I'm scratching, Dawn! As I read your post, I was hoping for an example of micro fiction, and you sure delivered! My sympathies to Sylvia's family :-) Well done!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

LOL, Pat. I've written a few of these little pieces to exercise my muse, and they're really fun. :)

Jill James said...

Dawn, your 195 words were awesome. A whole story in a few paragraphs.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I agree, that short blurb was to the point and very well done. I can see those dreadful spiders..,

Impressive!!!

Joanne said...

Dawn,
You did an amazing job on the 195 word short. And congrats on your Wallflower finals.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Jill, Paisley and Joanne, Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words. It's been fun trying to stay within the word-limit and still tell a mini story. :)

Clarissa Southwick said...

Congratulations on the contest wins, Dawn Marie. I loved the micro fiction story too. I'm in awe of anyone who can write short. Great post.