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Short Stories: March 07, 2018 Issue [#8796]

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Short Stories

 This week: Memories
  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


Character memories can be just like your own. A character isn't going to remember every minute detail about their past. Think of memory like a painted clapboard house. Recent memory is like fresh paint, gleaming in every detail and fresh in the memory. Every nook, cranny and even the gingerbread detail is remembered exactly. But as the memory/house ages, the paint begins to deteriorate, the paint cracks - not so fresh and vibrant as before. Small details are fuzzy and difficult to remember. "Was it April or May?"

Then time passes and larger chips fall to the ground. Most memory is retained but small parts are missing. Perhaps it might be the unpleasant moment in an otherwise happy experience. Like a drop of wine on a party dress, you now remember the lovely restaurant, the engaging conversation, but not the stain. A friend might pick up the chip and remind your character. "Oh, I remember that yellow dress, a shame that stain never came out."

Perhaps the only thing retained is a bad experience, like a fire. The clapboard house carries the obvious scar that everyone remembers. No one looks at the house any longer, only seeing the blackened mark on the abandoned building. The happy connection is broken and lost. The previous memories were erased in one horrific moment. "Tsk, the Lee family, I wonder where they moved?"

More time passes and only bits of the old paint remains. The weathered clapboard house is bleached nearly white from the sun, standing tall against the elements. These are the fond memories - memories of things we remember from our childhood, no longer clear and beautiful, but looked at with respect for the ageless beauty it has become. Memories of swinging on the old tire swing with our bestest friend in first grade. Our first kiss. The moment our child is born. "You were so pink and screamed like a banshee! I fell in love with you right then."

Character memory should work the same. A character couldn't tell every detail of something that happened decades ago. Some things are lost, and best forgotten.
Write on!

This month's question: How do you use character memories as a tool? In flashbacks? How else?
Send in your answer below! *Down* Editors love feedback!

Editor's Picks

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2150564 by Not Available.

Excerpt: Jo noticed him straight away because on the first move of the workout circuit, he had positioned himself where he could clearly see her, which meant she could clearly see him. OK, next move. There he was again. Staring. Clear view.

The Black Cape And Top Hat  (13+)
A man's memory of a terrible event in his youth still haunts him
#1886133 by Fangus

Excerpt: “Well…yeah. But it was a dream about something that really did happen to me when I was a kid. I knew I’d never forget it, but lately I’ve been thinking about it more and more.”

Memory Alpha  (E)
A professor deals with memory loss.
#2136660 by Teargen

Excerpt: All waited with breathless anticipation to hear this respected man of renown, the foremost authority on both brain chemistry and geophysics, give his talk and present his novel hypothesis. There had been rumblings of it over the grapevine for months. It was no secret. Sigmund--so it was said with certainty from Milan to Minsk, from Harvard to Honolulu—would present a new and revolutionary conjecture on memory loss. That much, at least, was culled from the vine. Further details, however, were nothing more than fertile imaginations running riot.

 Vampirism, of a kind  (13+)
A brief story of memory, and loss
#2097241 by BlackAdder

Excerpt: Roger himself doted on her, and God above, his eyes were blue, especially above that smart white coat. He smiled now, eyes crinkling as if she made a joke, but it was just the moment. Her heart knew what he was going to ask, and it beat so quickly, it threatened to burst through her chest.

The Purple People Eater  (E)
The song took her back to the memory ~~~~
#1461252 by Shaara

Excerpt: I stared at Alan as the others peered down at the record, listening to its crazy story. As usual, Alan had a single strand of hair that kept dropping down into his left eye. He was always pushing it back into place. I watched as his fingers brushed at it. My heart throbbed.

“Well he came down to earth and he lit in a tree
I said Mr. Purple People Eater, don't eat me.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2083875 by Not Available.

Excerpt: They come in brief flashes of light. Memories. Like some sort of frantic movie montage. Lights in the sky. Running through a forest. My hand clutching the hand of a woman. A woman that I’m deeply in love with. We are running scared. Something from the sky is chasing us. The lights perhaps? I hear her scream. She screams my name. She is yanked away from me. Upward, upward into the night sky. Darkness. Nothing.

Memories  (18+)
A man visits his memory of love.
#1945441 by Bikerider

Excerpt: Brice had just checked into the Kingsford hotel in London, and even before he could get comfortable the thirty-year-old memories began to fill his thoughts. He stepped out of his suite and stood on the balcony peering down at the city traffic crawling slowly along the street five stories below. The acrid smell of car exhaust rose up to sting his nose as he turned his gaze to the working-class neighborhood of Battersea, across the grey water of the River Thames. He felt a pang of sadness tighten his stomach.

Mournful, the dying Universe  (E)
A Navigator wakes up on board his ship with memory impairment.
#2021194 by Sz, the Poet

Excerpt: “Sensors indicate our destination is located inside of a supermassive black hole. Because of this, completion of this sub-mission would render the craft useless for the completion of our primary initiative,” the voice explains, resonating from every direction in the room, “However, my primary directive prohibits me from altering the course without your authorization.”

Sister Moon  (18+)
A true haunting.
#1999143 by Robert 'BobCat'

Excerpt: There is a certain anxiety in knowing that you are haunted. Not the wringing of hands sort of anxiety, nor the agoraphobic wrapped in a fetal position on the floor either. It is more like a nagging at the base of the brain, as if a microscopic gnome has taken up residence inside your skull and yells out in his tiny voice. You can only hear him when the sounds of life calm down, usually when you are trying to get to sleep. In those quiet hours you can hear him deep down reminding you that there is something there, something coming for you. And like the bad dreams that always follow you remember why.

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Word from Writing.Com

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Ask & Answer

This month's question: How do you use character memories as a tool? In flashbacks? How else?
Send in your answer below! *Down* Editors love feedback!

Last month's question: What is your biggest fear when making your work public?

TopsyTurvyMumsy replied: My biggest fear when sharing my work is being judged.

Elfin Dragon - contest hunting sent: Laughter for all the wrong reasons.

Quick-Quill responded: In the beginning I got good reviews and some not so good. I didn't know the difference since some of them said the same thing. I ruffled like a fan lizard. After a few of these harsh reviews both given by me and received by me, I took the reviewing class. It works both ways; for a writer and reviewer. I strongly recommend it. When a writer thinks their work is above critique its 1) because others love it, patted them on the back and given them 5 stars or 2) They have been writing a long time, maybe even self published their work and think they don't need improvement. The fear of rejection is the strongest when putting your work out to the public. I promise you. You wont die. You will live to write again, and if you take the good and the bad from a review, look your work over as if someone else had written it, then you can cut, change and edit it to be better. You may not agree with the reviewer, but don't justify your work. Are they critiquing the writing or the story? If the story has something missing, you may want to think about changing it. Its your choice, what does it hurt to try it a different way and see what that reaction is?

dragonwoman thinks: I think that I may have lost most of my fear through entering contests here and just feeling the love.

Jacqueline said: My biggest fear is all the mistakes people will find in the story. I am terrible at spelling and grammar.

gingerlyme sent: My biggest fear when making my work public is making a stupid or embarrassing error. I enter several contests and often worry about submitting the story to the wrong place.

Thanks for all the replies! It's much appreciated.
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