Can hardly believe that I finished my 2nd short (micro) story challenge at the group, Aspiring Writers' Short Story Challenge, at Linkedin! Just goes to show us what can be done if we continue to think about a wish. Even if it seems unattainable, we can be surprised to find ourselves there if we just keep stoking our desire. The July challenge is titled "The Dance." If you want to post, you have until 8:00 am EST on July 20th.
The first thing that I do when planning my story is to move away from the ordinary. I don't want to write about the obvious title subject and story line. I want to write about a different twist to the title than what would normally be thought about. How can the subject be twisted to a different viewpoint, and remain true to the challenge title? This is not just a twist ending style of writing, but the whole story has an unusual twist.
At Letterpile.com's article "Short Stories With A Twist Ending," the writing twist is described like this: "Even though a twist ending is supposed to give the reader a jolt, in hindsight it should seem perfectly reasonable. The best ones seem inevitable and seamless." In my July story, the twist comes 1/3 of the way in. It is seamless, if you understand what has happened.
It's good to read as many of the other participants' stories as possible, because it stimulates the creative juices. It's also surprising how some see the subject, and what their take is on the prompt. At the end of the article from Letterpile shared above, is a list of short stories with surprise endings. Some of them, like "The Lottery" and "The Necklace," you may have read. In short, short story writing there has to be something of interest to give the reader, since characters can't be developed nor story lines extended. Writing in a twist is a satisfying way to do this.
Here is my micro, 1000- words, characters and spaces story for July. As long as I participate, I will share them here, and give pointers on how I craft them.
Sandi J. Holland
“The coals are just too hot!” he exclaimed, jumping gingerly from left to right, forward and backwards. The naked soles of his feet were not just singed, they were burning! How could he have gotten himself into a situation like this insane, torturous dancing, just to win the beautiful woman? Searching feverishly for a cooling spot among the evil, glowing rocks, he began to pass out.
Opening his eyes, and glancing around gratefully, Tristan once again did the dance, wiggling and twisting his feet to find a cool spot under the sweltering covers. Turning over, he gently kissed Tilly on the neck, marveling at how willing he has always been to make his wife comfortable.
"It’s an honor to have won her hand,” he thought. “She is beautiful inside and out.” Slipping his feet into a less-warm pocket, his nightly dance over, he eased his arm around his prize, thinking for the umpteenth time, “I’ve GOT to get a temp-zoned mattress!”
The Creative Seller