So, it’s been a while since I’ve done anything with the Insomnia installment story I was writing using the weekly Six Sentence Stories cue at Uncharted. There are two reasons for that. The first is that I was deep into a full-time summer quarter class load along with working full-time, which is a flimsy excuse given that when the creative juices are flowing and I really want to write, it will wake me up in the middle of the night, so on second thought, it may be a perfectly valid reason, because I kept forgetting the cues, possibly because I needed sleep. The second reason is that I simply wrote myself into a corner with the Insomnia story and had no idea how to get myself out of it. This is the best reason I can think of for having an outline, although it was huge fun to just put together a story week by week and see where it led me, even if it was straight into a box canyon. Perhaps I’ll be inspired and come back to it.
I took my last final last week. I’ve missed Six Sentence Stories and I love flash fiction in general. Over at Carrot Ranch, we respond to weekly cues with flashes of exactly 99 words. Any structured format really makes you practice the craft of writing, making you make it work within the constrict and the cue. It’s fun writing and fun reading too. I’ve read some outrageously good stuff from the writers at both Carrot Ranch and Uncharted.
I’ve been using Carrot Ranch cues to write vignettes about a character of mine, Jane Doe. Jane Doe was born in a NaNoWriMo project, through the course of which I realized her story would perhaps be better told through a series of short stories rather than a novel. I’m picturing something à la Olive Kitteredge, Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer-winning collection that tells of her main character through short stories from many different points of view. I had one of those “duh” insights that Six Sentence Stories will be a grand way to flesh out these other characters and viewpoints.
So, I’m back, with what I intend to be a great expansion of Jane Doe’s character and the introduction of other people in her life. I’ve missed everybody! (Aced my classes, too -booyah!)
This week’s Six Sentence Stories cue: fire.
Honestly, Becca wonders, what did she ever do to deserve having to share a cubicle with this Jane annoyance, this mosquito in human form? Just blathers away, constantly trying to suck up when the reality is they are not friends, and never will be. And she’s no paralegal here, whatever she thinks she was at her last job in wherever-the-hell-it-was, where she really just needs to go back to since it’s all she seems to be able to talk about.
She looks up just as Heartburn appears at the cubicle opening, beckoning Jane to follow with a set, grim look on her face. Becca’s heart jolts as she wonders if her subtle hints have borne fruit. Please, please, fire her, she thinks pleadingly at Heartburn’s back as the two walk into Heartburn’s private office.
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