This week: Just a Bit of ScaryEdited by: Kate~ Reading & Writing
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"All that I see or seem is but a dream within a dream."
Edgar Allan Poe
Welcome to this week's edition of the Writing.Com Horror/Scary Newsletter, where we explore that which scares, terrifies, and makes you check the lock on your door *Door*
"Good things come in small packages -
why not savor just a bit of horror ~ in prose or verse."
Greetings, thank you for allowing me this brief intrusion into your virtual home. 'Brief is the operative word today. Recently, I attended an online seminar and submitted a bit of flash for instructor comment and peer review. The instructor commented favorably on the plot, pacing, characterization, and visceral psychological ending. Peer review was equally favorable and encouraging. The instructor ended her critique, however, with the statement, "...but you've committed flash fiction." Yes, her words. She then offered suggestions on how I could expand the idea to novel length, or link a series of similar 'shorts' as chapters into a novel.
But I ask you, what's wrong with flash fiction, especially in writing horror? The vivid imagery and visceral nature of horror (whether overt or subliminal) induces tight, sensual writing. Yes, world building and vivid scenic development can create otherworlds for a multitude of characters to inhabit and invite the reader to stay for a day, or week; but horror tales especially can be just as vivid and complete when 'bite' size.
Flash fiction can be drafted in a creative breath, then refined, reworded, sometimes all in a day. A short story anywhere from 30 words to about 3000 is considered 'flash fiction.' And even tighter, a complete story of 10-300 words has been dubbed 'micro-fiction.' But these are not merely a scene, or expository. Flash fiction and micro-fiction have all the elements of a novel: beginning, middle and end. They arise in any genre - mystery, adventure, horror, comedy, ... - that incites the Muse Creative to write, with mainly a single point of view, a story to delight, incite, or inspire readers. Being that they are short in length, and each word has to be selected with care, I think they're fun to read aloud; to embrace the actual spoken tone of the writer, savor the sound and taste of the words, the images thus evoked to convey the story.
A Ficlet or short-short story is also a form of 'drabble' that can run up to 1,000 words. These are often used in fan fiction, where brief, tight writing , vivid scenes, propel action-adventure and sometimes romance.
Want even more for less, try a 'drabble,' a complete story of exactly 100 words. Going even shorter and tighter, one can write a dribble, or a complete story in 50 words, or a "droubble" (double drabble) of 200 words. We must also keep in mind the tweet (to tell a story in but 140 characters). *Bird*
All of these 'drabbles' and their derivatives have one thing in common -they are complete stories, plotted and driven from beginning to end by the writer's insightful choice of words.
And let's not forget poetry, "Quoth the raven, ..." Would any of you Dare to say Poe does not relate a complete, mesmerizing, story in verse that chills when read aloud!
So, why not give it a try ~ create a tale of terror in brief yet vivid detail, a delight to read aloud.
Proof that flash-es and drabbles are welcome in horror writing, consider sending one of your shorts to the following *Spider*
I hope you agree now, if you didn't already know it, that in horror writing especially, less can be more.
Write On ~
Kate~ Reading & Writing
I'd like to share just a 'small' selection of short fiction and verse that each relate a complete story in brief, yet visceral detail, to evoke a satisfied shiver. Do let the writers know how they've succeeded with a comment or review ~ Read them all, these tales in brief, then pen a brief scare of your own
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I thank you for this brief respite in the relative safety of your virtual home.
Until we next meet,
Write On !
Kate~ Reading & Writing
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