Flash Fiction Thursdays: Acceptance

Rejection, from The Letter


Her eyes lurked in the shadows.  She saw the haggard man there and the scuffed iron pistol he held in his shaking hand, but she pretended she didn’t.  If Vengeance deemed she was going to die between these red silk covers, then so be it.  But she would die with dignity.  When the gunshot sounded and the burning metal pierced her soft bronze skin, she was ready.


Author’s Note:
In both my writing courses this past year at college, my professors emphasized that a story doesn’t have to be long to be a story.  I recognize length as one of my weak points in creative writing.  I am inclined to be incredibly long, even if I don’t need to be.  I think these five sentences give enough information to relay character and basic setting to the reader, but I’m interested in your thoughts- how can I make this better without making it longer?
Much love,


6 Responses to “Flash Fiction Thursdays: Acceptance”

  1. 1 deepwellbridge July 30, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    That is a very intriguing, well-written paragraph. I too fall into the curse of being too long. My first draft is always wordy and it takes considerable time to cut out the fat, so-to-speak, and produce a leaner story with momentum and movement.

    I learned about this behavior of mine while reading. Some authors think we actually bought their book to listen to them drone on and on about rabbit-holes. The reality is, only good, succinct stories written by thrifty authors will win the day.

    • 2 slytherclawchica July 31, 2010 at 3:33 am

      It’s so true that shorter books are more likely to get readers. My brother, for example, LOVES the Lord of the Rings films and listened to the book-on-tape for the Hobbit when he found out he could get it from the library… but he hasn’t touched the actual series, because the books look daunting to him. Most people who have the focus to read nowadays (I sound like my grandparents) have a short attention span.

  2. 3 jana July 30, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Well, first things first: I don’t remember how I found your blog, but I did – about a month ago. I would stop by from time to time, and enjoy myself. I love the way your pages look, sound, feel. I am constantly drawn back. Still, I never really felt like I had anything “smart” to say.

    Now, that doesn’t mean I have any wisdom to share today, either. But I thought it’d be nice to finally introduce myself.

    I am not a writer nor do I dream of ever becoming one. However, I like to read. And your post just struck a note with me that resonated in my mind longer than I could ignore.

    Many people struggle with taking too much time and space trying to say something simple (case in point: the previous 3 paragraphs). It’s silly to think that all a writer needs to do is to allow the reader to enter a scene, not give her a guided tour.

    Anyway, I think you did an amazing job of inviting me into a dark room while letting my own imagination fill in the scents and sounds only to realize what a horrible event was about to take place. And I thank (and applaud) you for achieving that in less than 30 seconds.

    • 4 slytherclawchica July 31, 2010 at 3:42 am

      Thank you Jana… and… nice to meet you, too!

      For the record, I’ll take not-so-smart comments, too. Even silly things, like “Guess what I went to WalMart today and there were these amazing shoes!” Who knows. Maybe you’ll inspire a story. ^^

  3. 5 karenfrommentor August 1, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    I edit for a living, but I also write. I know first hand that it’s easy to take scissors to someone else’s words. It’s a LOT harder to cut your own work. What you have is a good strong scene. But if you wanted it to be shorter:

    She saw the haggard man and the scuffed iron pistol he held in his shaking hand. If Vengeance deemed she was going to die between these red silk covers, she would die with dignity. When the burning metal pierced her soft bronze skin, she was ready.

    Thanks for letting me poke around at your place.
    Karen :0)

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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

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