Writing exercises like the popular Flash Fiction memes are valuable in honing your craft as a writer.
My used chair was undoubtedly city issue, handpicked from salvage, the “stylish” metal lacked any semblance of comfort. The seat was ripped and the stuffing exuded stale urine reflecting many tenuous nights at the station. It’s last home was the interrogation room in one of the crime or homicide divisions. This was the city’s welcoming card…
There was no need for my psychic abilities to tell where my metal chair, with the stuffing erupting from the seat, originated from. The stale urine spoke of pounding nights of interrogations; when the interrogators could no longer tolerate the stench, it was pitched into the wire caged, salvage area just waiting for me.
My new chair, used city issue probably hand picked from salvage, very stylish, metal, an uncomfortable chair, the seat ripped and the stuffing coming out and smelled like stale urine. Its last home was an interview room in one of the divisions. (from the original unedited text)
If you are serious about writing, you can benefit from writing flash fiction. Flash Fiction memes are wonderful places to exercise your writing ability and are available for all writing levels. The premise behind the Flash Fiction exercise is as follows: you are given a set number of words to create a theme, main character, and a resolution to the plot. Some memes give a prompt while others allow the writer to create his own theme. I have participated in flash fiction memes from 160 characters to 100 words; there are longer micro-fiction memes that allow 1000 words to develop and conclude a fictional piece. Regardless of the number of words you are alotted, the exercise challenges the writer to be concise yet descriptive.
The two examples that I have included for this article are each 55 words and are based on an edit I did for an author of crime/suspense fiction. Sometimes writers are so busy with the details that they overlook the descriptive aspect of writing. As a voracious reader of classical literature, my senses come alive by the words that teem with inspiration.
Read these 57 words so deftly crafted by the masterful hand of Alexandre Dumas:
The commissary took
up an iron mallet and knocked thrice, every blow seeming to
Dantes as if struck on his heart. The door opened, the two
gendarmes gently pushed him forward, and the door closed
with a loud sound behind him. The air he inhaled was no
longer pure, but thick and mephitic, — he was in prison.
~The Count of Monte Cristo (1844)
by Alexandre Dumas (excerpt from Chapter 8)
Here’s a challenge – take 55 words and use them well!
Photograph:” Starbuck’s Chair” ~L. Moon copyright 2012