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Short Stories: October 13, 2021 Issue [#11024]

 This week: Fiction about Non-Fiction
  Edited by: Leger~
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

The purpose of this newsletter is to help the Writing.com short story author hone their craft and improve their skills. Along with that I would like to inform, advocate, and create new, fresh ideas for the short story author. Write to me if you have an idea you would like presented.

This week's Short Story Editor

Word from our sponsor

Letter from the editor

Fiction about Non-Fiction

This question comes from my own dilemma, actually. How do you make a fiction story work, using a base of non-fiction. For example, history or the bible? I was asked to write a short story about a chapter in the bible. The difficulty began when this particular chapter has dialog. Do I use the dialog or create my own? Do I alter the scenes to suit my imagination? I found this a great challenge, but also frustrating. I don't want it to feel like an info dump. I want readers to feel involved in the story.

The same thing occurs when writing a short story that includes a piece of history. Do you allow your imagination to alter the scene, to add unknown dialog or add characters that were probably not there? How far do you think readers are willing to play along with your story, even if they know the history is different?

Then when the story goes public, how do you handle readers that become offended at your fiction version? I've been reading a lot of articles pro/con on Superman being bisexual in the next DC Comics issue. I can imagine the board room discussions before that was released. To be a fly on that wall!

Changing history, changing ideals...how does one move forward with their own version?

This month's question: How do you meld history and fiction in your writing? Send in your answer below! *Down* Editors love feedback!

Editor's Picks

The Breakdown  (13+)
If someone could tell your future, would you let them? Would you believe them if you did?
#2258884 by Blimprider

Excerpt: It must be six, no, seven years since I was driving away from the wife who had inexplicably turned hostile and vindictive, and demanded a nasty divorce that left me with an old car and a small fraction of our bank account. Tiring of the freeway, and with no particular destination in mind, I took an isolated turnoff, got lost, and wandered into the great southwestern desert.

The Water Vole  (E)
A hiker stops to admire a country scene.
#2256342 by Beholden

Excerpt: Further downstream, the reeds nodded their heads as the body of a water vole emerged between them. It began to swim in determined fashion against the current and towards the bridge. The hiker watched, fascinated. In all that scene there was only the pair of them, vole and hiker, awake in that moment, for the world dozed in that day’s warmth, somnolent with satisfaction.

Custody Battle  (13+)
Matilda solves a grieving mother's case in a way that neither woman ever expected
#2259895 by WriterAngel

Excerpt: Of course, if Mr. Winters were really hiding the kid, he might be a little more security conscious. Particularly after the cops had paid him a visit two days prior. They hadn’t found anything, but then, they had more rules than she did.

 The Girl Next Door  (ASR)
The neighbour's daughter keeps watching him from the window. Nothing is as it seems.
#2157597 by Stuckintime

Excerpt: Before they came back out of the house, I decided to go and stand outside and have a quick smoke. It would be a good chance to meet the new folks that would be living next door and maybe I could offer a little help carrying things.

 Knock Knock  (13+)
Don't open the door
#2259666 by Até

Excerpt: I've always liked rain. Especially during a thunderstorm. It almost calmed me when I heard the thunder in my apartment, laying on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate. The TV ran in the background but I barely paid it any mind. It was just me, the storm, and my hot chocolate. "Meow?" Oh, and my cat.

The Red Knife of Hassan  (18+)
Some historical pulp fiction...
#2215264 by WriterAngel

Excerpt: How had she gotten herself into this?! The last thing she could remember was the pirate ship crashing into the side of the South African Dream, laden with its cargo of diamonds, just past Casablanca. She must have fallen to the deck in the collision and lost consciousness. Now she could be anywhere...

 Topping, Old Man  (13+)
These youngsters could do with some good advice. (Winner, Cramp!)
#2259417 by Trickful Sonali Hey Halloween!

Excerpt: It could not be.

This wasn't Harry Potter. It wasn't the Hogs Head or the Three Broomsticks. It wasn't Hogwarts.

Pictures did not move here. They were ordinary, non-magical pictures and they stayed put as they had on the day they were first clicked. William tried not to look at the picture that appeared to be moving, as he spoke to Alisha. The trouble was, they were seated opposite each other at the little cafe table, and the picture was on the wall just behind her. If he looked at her, he HAD to see the picture out of one part of his eye.

The End of R&R  (18+)
A soldier waits in the Atlanta airport for his return flight to Iraq.
#2259641 by Propeller

Excerpt: "At fourteen-hundred, somebody will walk you all over to your terminal," said the old guy behind the counter at the Atlanta airport's USO.

He'd been nothing but pleasant since I arrived. He'd greeted me with a smile and hoped my R&R had been good. The only response that came to mind was "fuck you." I said nothing and nodded.

I shoved my duffle in a rack and quickly left the USO.

My two weeks at home were over. Ordinary normal was abruptly being replaced by Iraq normal.

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Ask & Answer

This month's question: How do you meld history and fiction in your writing? Send in your answer below! *Down* Editors love feedback!
Last month's "Contests & Activities Newsletter (September 29, 2021) question: How did something odd end up in your story?

Kotaro : When I was in my twenties, I worked in Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo. At that time it was a rough area with many establishments run by the yakuza. There was this guy, a co-worker, who told me a story about a man who had a spider tattoo on his back. The man had a bad run in with the yakuza and his back was sliced open by a sword. He survived. But, the thing that stuck to me was that the doctors had a hard time stitching him up so that the webbing would match.
That inspired my story about a spider tattoo that comes to life.

Steven - Writer of the Spooky : As an Australian who lives in a rural area, I can relate to your tales of bugs everywhere. US friends call it terrifying; I call it "Thursday". But as a writer of spec fic (horror, fantasy, scifi, etc.), odd things are the grist to my mill. Rescuing a seal from an errant fishing line last year led to my NaNoWriMo story about selkies in the area I live. Helping put out a fire led to a story about dragons. Learning guitar led to a story about a guy who spoke only through music. Anything can make for a story if your mind is warped... imaginative enough.

Jack-o'-Mike 🎺 : I used to be real big on pranks and practical jokes. One of them involved a dead non-poisonous snake, the memory of which sparked this: "Snakes Alive, Son! [13+]

ŴebBad2TheBone ŴiTcH : As a southeast Florida resident for half a year, I know the critters of which you speak. That said, have you had some bad experiences with those lovely palmetto roaches? They are not shy at all, and will walk on you to get past you. *Shock2*

Enjoy Florida for all the wonderful things you can do there — throughout the winter! *Ha*

Elfin Dragon - contest hunting : How did something odd end up in your story? - When I was writing with my ex something odd always ended up in my story. We complemented each other very well when we wrote a story. I tend to write more on the serious side and though he loves action, he tends to put a more light-hearted take in his writing. So when we combined our efforts the results were pretty awesome and sometimes odd. Our characters had funny and serious conversations. I miss that.

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