Here is my attempt at writing a unique flash story. It is all in present tense, which I know is usually frowned upon. I would love to have some readers read the whole thing and tell me what they think of it, and if it works. I would love to submit this out soon, after feedback is taken into account.
Let me know if you are interested in reading the whole flash (its short!) and comments on the first 13 only are of course welcome as well.
Iím from the Government, and Iím here to help. No thank you. Slam. Ten farms visited today and ten no thank yous and door slams. I donít get it. Iím in the heartland of farming country, USA, and there is a little thing called a recession happening right now. Farms and businesses are going bankrupt everywhere. Two words: Government Stimulus. Isnít anyone interested?
Iím tired and discouraged, and itís late enough in the day to quit early, excellent government employee that I am, and I head for the one bar on empty Main Street, where flashing neon signals my favorite beer is waiting.
Inside itís busier than I expected. Pesky recession changes everything. Oh well, nobody should recognize me here.
I see this working well. I did find the dialogue not being quotated a bit distracting, and I had a few ideas on how you could sharpen the voice, but I am not sure on what is appropriate as far as offering suggestions in the form of a reworded sentence, so I will give an offer to show you what I mean if you want, just send it over if you are interested.
Posts: 96 | Registered: Nov 2009
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thanks all of you for the advice and offers to read
sent to shimiqua and Phobos...adamatom, you don't have an email address in your profile, not sure if you know about that option...you could simply email me and I could reply if you do not want to post your email for some reason
I understand all your comments so far, and am curious if you will have the same opinion after reading the whole thing
as far as whats appropriate response, I am open to all criticism and advice, and I don't even mind someone rewriting my sentences to illustrate a point - any and all feedback is appreciated!
I'd put the opening sentence in quotes, not specifically because it is the narrator's words, but because it is (intentionally or no) a clear reference to Ronald Reagan's famous line.
Present tense is fine and looks perfectly suitable for this story.
Since this is a short, I'll take a quick read of the full thing. I'll warn you now, though, if this is a thinly disguised politcal screed and not actually a story (which looks worryingly possible from the opening), I will probably be quite impolite about that (no matter which side of the political divide it comes down on: I am by no means against politics being addressed or discussed through fiction, but there are good and bad ways - and flash length is very rarely a good way), so it's entirely your decision as to whether you think I should read or not
i think you're right, the first sentence at least should be in quotes(it is intentional).
I admit, watching the news and politics influenced my writing this story, but I'm trying not to be politically preachy. The story takes a humorous turn (at least my attempt at humor) shortly after the first 13, which was the original idea for writing the story.
I will gladly send it to you, see what you think. If you think it to be too much screed, rip it apart, suggest how it could work better.
My attempt here is to right a great flash, there's no hidden agenda
It didn't work for me. I don't see why you are addressing the reader almost directly. I'm not hooked. The actual recounting seems removed, distant--unengaging. First-present can be done, but usually in a immediate way in terms of perspective. By that I mean, your intro focuses on his thoughts rather than any direct perceptions.
I push open the door. The bar is almost empty. Clouds of tobacco smoke hang in the air and country and western music blares from an ancient jukebox. The barmaid looks at me as she polishes a glass. "You comin' in, hun? Or are you just gonna stand there all night?" She smiles. I smile back. "A beer would be good."
I must say I have never tried to write a story in the present tense--there is something quite engaging about doing it. (probably why I gave it a try above...)
[This message has been edited by skadder (edited November 25, 2009).]
skadder, your comments about present tense are appreciated. I like your example.
Like I said, this is sort of an unconventional flash, trying to pack a lot into 1000 words, and in a different way, and I realize it probably doesn't appeal to everybody. I think my first 13 both does and doesn't represent how the rest of the flash unfolds (it represents the style, present tense becomes more evident).
I would try to imitate your example if I was writing a longer more serious story in the present tense.