Author Topic: Flash fiction 250 words  (Read 1549 times)

Offline fort street

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Flash fiction 250 words
« on: January 23, 2013, 02:32:25 PM »

 Hi I di this piece for a competition to win a book in Writing Magazine. You have to  do a passage or short story about Janet returning home to find her flats been burgled. So this is my attempt.

                   BURGLARY
 Janet`s stomach took a roller- coaster ride, nails digging into the shopping.  The door was half open; deep gouges near the lock, splinters on the floor. It had been forced
“Not again, no, not again.”
 Once she had thought it was safe out here, that it was too far away in the woods for anyone to bother with.    Two break-ins in the last year had shattered that illusion.  And now burglary number three, she began to tremble.
 She turned away, about to run. Something stopped her. Why should she? This was her place. They had no right to do this. The first burglary had made her afraid to leave, forced her to be constantly scurrying about like a mouse imagining cats. After the second: she slept with the poker by her bed and the    sunniest of days, locked out. The flat had become a cell: solitary confinement. Well not this time. A big spade lay in the garden she grabbed it and crept towards the half open door.
 
Two of them, she took in the damage they had done, that they were doing. They looked drunk, or, like it said in the papers, on drugs. One sat on the couch, eyes glazed, grinning. The other, a girl, was on her knees and was actually in the process of vomiting. She crashed in, screaming swinging the spade.
 

An hour later, feeling much better, she stuffed Hansel`s and Gretel`s bodies into the oven.


Pale Writer

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Re: Flash fiction 250 words
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 03:02:37 PM »
Hello

This could do with a bit of tightening.  Some sentences are fragmented, some are redundant.  For example the mention of scrapes and wood chippings on the floor and the door ajar, is enough say it had been forced open. Rely on what you previously wrote.

Your use of 'gerunds' does not help this piece.  Those are 'ing' suffixes.  If you tell a story in the past tense, try to keep it there unless it helps the story more with their additions.  They don't have to be avoided but should be controlled.

:  - full colons  - I've heard often enough that they belong in technical writing.  I'm unsure if this is true but they always stand out wrong for me in fictional works.

But even so, you are not using the full colon correctly.  Read up on their usage and see if it is applied well here.

Fragmented sentences do not help a story unless the work for the scene.  You begin a sentence with

Two of them.... - which doesn't tell me a thing because there is not enough of a setup to show the possibilities.  Yes it could be the thieves, but last lines written dealt with shovels, so I had no direction change.

The twist - it came out of nowhere, so felt added on last moment.  I like the idea but wanted more of a hint to that possibility.

There are spacing issues, but that might be a matter of cut and paste.

*

Flash stories are a great way to improve your writing skills.  Well done.

pale

Offline Clarius

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Re: Flash fiction 250 words
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 04:26:58 PM »
 Janet`s stomach took a roller- coaster ride cliche?, nails digging into the shopping.  The door was half open; deep gouges near the lock, splinters on the floor. It had been forced telling!
“Not again, no, not again.”
 Once she had thought it was safe out here, that it was too far away in the woods for anyone to bother with.    Two break-ins in the last year had shattered that illusion.  And now burglary number three, she began to tremble. construction?
 She turned away, about to run. Something stopped her. she stopped Why should she? This was her place. They had no right to do this. The first burglary had made her afraid to leave, forced her to be constantly scurrying about like a mouse imagining cats. After the second: she slept with the poker by her bed and the    sunniest of days, locked out. meaning? The flat had become a cell: solitary confinement. Well not this time. A big spade lay in the garden she grabbed it and crept towards the half open door. revise She grabbed a spade, and crept to the door.
 
Two of them, she took in the damage they had done, that they were doing. tenses? They looked drunk telling, or, like it said in the papers, on drugs. telling One sat on the couch, eyes glazed, grinning. The other, a girl, was on her knees and was actually in the process of vomiting., vomiting on the carpet. She crashed in, screaming swinging the spade. She crashed into the room, screaming fit to wake the dead, swinging the spade above her head.
 

An hour later, feeling much better, she stuffed Hansel`s and Gretel`s bodies into the oven. Nice denouement, but where did it come from?

« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 04:28:49 PM by Clarius »
O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us

 - Robert Burns

hillwalker3000

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Re: Flash fiction 250 words
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 10:16:33 AM »
I'll comment as I read along - and apologies if I repeat what others have already mentioned:

Janet`s stomach took a roller- coaster ride, dreadful cliché - and physically impossible nails digging into the shopping where did the nails come from? it reads as if they were part of her stomach.  The door was half open; deep gouges near the lock, splinters on the floor. It had been forced we can figure this out from what you have already shown us - no need to show then tell the same thing
“Not again, no, not again.”
 Once she had thought it was safe out here, that it was too far away in the woods for anyone to bother with.    Two break-ins in the last year had shattered that illusion.  And now burglary number three. (, s) She began to tremble.
She turned away, about to run. Something stopped her. Why should she? This was her place. Needs tightening - what was it that stopped her? They had no right to do this. The first burglary had made her afraid to leave, forced her to be constantly scurrying about like a mouse imagining cats. After the second: she slept with the poker by her bed and the    sunniest of days, locked out don't understand what this is supposed to mean. The flat in the woods? really? had become a cell: solitary confinement. Well not this time. I'm getting the feeling your thoughts are muddled here A big spade lay in the garden she grabbed it and crept towards the half open door. clunky writing She picked up the garden spade and crept towards the half open door.
 
Two of them, she took in the damage they had done, that they were doing.Too fragmented. The focus shifts 3 times - how many  - the damage - what they were doing. You need to break this up into separate sentences and link the images better They looked drunk, or, like it said in the papers, I don't understand what you mean here. What does it say in the papers? on drugs. One sat on the couch, eyes glazed, grinning. The other, a girl, was on her knees and was actually in the process of vomiting. She Who? The vomiting girl or Janet? crashed in, screaming and swinging the spade.
 
An hour later, feeling much better, Much too abrupt an ending - clever twist but you blow it because it ends up looking rushed - or your word-count restriction meant you had to finish rather suddenly she stuffed Hansel`s and Gretel`s bodies into the oven.


H3K

Offline fort street

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Re: Flash fiction 250 words
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 02:28:42 PM »
  Thanks for all the comments I`l take them all on board, and  work on them. Hilwalker3000 you`re were the only one that spotted it , the competition asks for 250 word on  Janet returning back to her flat I knew I`d suggested a cottage but I thopught I`d try and sneak it in.