Flash Fiction: Thin Line

0171.-Jurassic-5-Power-In-Numbers

This week’s flash fiction prompt required me to come up with a title by randomly selecting a song from my music collection.  I got “Thin Line,” by Jurassic 5 (featuring Nelly Furtado).  While we weren’t required to use the song itself as an inspiration, I, uh, listened to Thin Line on repeat while I was writing.  The result feels very different from most other pieces that I’ve written, and follows the song’s theme of questioning how romantic / erotic relationships can coexist with friendships.  I was, quite honestly, surprised by the end.  And that’s all I’ll say about that.  Enjoy!

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Meta-flash fiction?

This week, Chuck Wendig wants fuel for his flash fiction fires.  It just so happens that I’d already been thinking of ways to use my foray into random D&D material for the purposes of flash fiction, so I came to this topic with an idea more-or-less prepared.  Some modification may be necessary.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to use this Random Adventure Generator to create your prompt.  You may use as much of it as you like, but you must at least use the Theme, the Story Hook, and the Climax.  Write your story in 2000 words or less.

Also, I should mention: I’m going to be incommunicado for the rest of the week, and will thus miss my normal second post!  It’s time for me to live in a tent and do larp-camp staff training again.  If you’re anywhere near upstate New York, you should consider sending your children or your friends’ children to The Wayfinder Experience.  It’s good stuff.

Flash Fiction: The First Is The Worst

Bloody.Hand.with.knife

This week’s flash fiction challenge from Chuck Wendig involved a 1000 word story that starts with a dead body.  I ended up with this piece without even knowing where I was going, but perhaps you’ll like it.  In case you’re wondering about the setting, I think it takes place in my Elven Progenitors story-world (though I still feel like it desperately needs a punchier name).

Enjoy!

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Sweet Deus, Ex Machina is Good

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This movie has left me feeling conflicted… but not about whether or not I thought it was good.  Ex Machina is excellent.  It is a very good movie, in so many ways.  The people who made this movie knew what they were doing, and they did it very well.  I think I’m going to keep this one on hand as a reference for my own storytelling in the future. Continue reading

Miracle at St. Anna

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They’re looking at the narrative, just offscreen.

When I first saw the title and plot summary for Miracle at St. Anna, I thought that I was going to see a refashioned telling of the battle of Sommocolonia (which I’d just read about shortly before watching the movie).  I was totally wrong.  This movie was never quite what I expected it to be.

Possibly valuable, probably confusing, Miracle at St. Anna is a composite of several different stories, all mashed together in a fascinating but bewildering mix of historical fiction that feels more like very subdued historical magical realism.  The narrative focus wanders back and forth, encompassing so many story lines that it never feels like it zeroes in on any one of them.  Nor does it ever focus enough to mold a sense of coherence out of the disparate pieces.  I like the story at its core, I think, but … I feel lost.  It’s almost too nebulous to really understand, in some ways, and it certainly leaves many questions entirely unanswered.  Or maybe it answers some questions, but in unsatisfying ways?  It’s a bit of a mess.

But why?  It seemed so promising, after all.

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Flash Fiction: Bloody Expanse

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Not exactly how I imagine Hobb, but Isom Dart is close enough.

Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction prompt this week involved a randomly generated title and a 1500 word story, which led to what you can see above and below.  I’m not sure exactly what caused that to make me think of what follows, but it felt about right.  Ideas I passed over in favor of this one include: medical drama, massacre, way more murder… etc.  I think I like this one better, as it’s an indirect sequel to my piece Trouble Close Behind from January 22nd.  Enjoy. Continue reading

Tidbits to tide you over

Hello everyone!  This week I’ve set aside time to spend with my brothers, which means lots of role playing games and storytelling and laughter and yelling (also probably more food and booze than usual).  But because of all that, I’m unlikely to have much for you here.  I’m certainly unlikely to have full-scale reviews or such.  I’ll return with the usual stuff by next Monday, no worries.

But while I’m not writing as much about things, here, have a few tidbits!

Dying Light is a fascinating game: it has gameplay that I find fun and engaging, but a story and characterizations which so far repel me.  It is definitely fun playing with other people, running around the zombie apocalypse at high speed, leaping from building to building, and getting lost in the warrens while hungry monsters chase me.  But every time the story progresses, I shudder and feel that ugly cold spot in my belly; why the hell does the POV character have to be a tool?  Why do they have to make the villain choices they do?  Why did they think the misogynist themes would be worth including?  Why do I feel certain that the “strong female character” they’ve created is just going to be damseled within the next few missions?  For that matter, why are there two or three women survivors in the tower, and everyone else there that I meet is male?

As someone who loves and is fascinated by stories, I’ll probably keep watching the story cutscenes all the way through.  But that may just make me angrier and angrier about their writing choices.  It’s a good thing that the cutscenes are skippable and basically won’t matter in the long run.

On the other end of things, we have Lois McMaster Bujold’s Mirror Dance, which I just finished.  The first time that I picked it up I bounced off the main character’s narration (a first for me with any of Bujold’s books).  But when I started it this time I fell in and couldn’t climb out… which is about what I expect from Bujold at this point.  She really is fabulous.  I’m going to leave my paeans of praise for another post, when I can give this book it’s due, but if you like the other Vorkosigan series books be sure to keep at it with this one, even if the start is a little disorienting.  It’s worth it.

Okay, that’s all for now.  Enjoy yourselves.