@dazmb was born in a small village in Scotland, but he now lives with his wife and two children in London. For a living he works with numbers, but in his spare time he prefers the company of words.
He thinks science and poetry are best equipped to get to the truth of things.
100 words ain’t many. How do you fit a story into so few words? Decide on the story elements and then build up sentence by sentence until I’ve finished the first draft.
Thereafter, a savage edit is usually required (although this time, happily, not so much!) to strip the story down into its essence and to meet the word count. My two main rules are;
- Generally, no connectives
- No adjectives or adverbs unless they are working really hard. ‘Skinny’ meets that criteria. At the end of the piece ‘Calmly’ provides an effective contrast to the mayhem that’s just been unleashed,
Why do you like flash fiction? The combination of imagination and discipline required to turn the word count, bookends and prompt into a finished piece.
I visited the site for a number of weeks in awe of what people were able to put together before I was brave enough to take a punt myself.
Been writing long? Lots of teenage poems at the back of my drawer.
I have always read, but hadn’t really written anything until I came across Three Line Thursday’s and then Micro Bookends’ twitter feeds and websites.
Any advice for other flash writers? No. I am constantly taken aback at the variety, scope and risk taking on show each week. Everybody is incredibly supportive of each other and this gives me lots of confidence to keep writing. I hope this is the same for all those who submit work, or who are thinking about it.
Any interesting writerly projects in the pipeline? Not really. Most of my submissions are very character driven and I seem to have a creative well which supplies me with an inordinate amount of material for murders, psychotic episodes, death and general murky sadness.
I’m therefore trying (and learning from you all) to write more plot driven and humorous pieces.
I would also love to write fantasy, but I have to say I find that the hardest of the lot. Kudos to all you fantasy writers!
I just finished reading a book. Can you recommend another? Two, if I may.
The Poem and the Journey by Ruth Padel is a masterclass in understanding how poets put language to work.
Woyzeck by Georg Büchner. The first ‘modern’ drama. If he was alive I’m sure Büchner would have written flashfic. His scenes are short, sharp nuggets of perfection.
(…plus all the science books).
A Hungry Business
“…body and mind aligned; push back into downward dog”.
The blond, skinny decaf lattes who took this class meant nothing to Durga.
Her attention returned to the class instructor. ‘Yogi’ she insisted on being called, as if she understood the deeper rituals.
Durga channelled her energy into the tiger’s eyes taped to her chakras.
“…and forward on all fours, left leg raised, into tiger pose.”
Summoning the power of her namesake Deity, she willed the transformation.
Padding forward, amidst the screams of fear, she growled deeply “I’ve come to devour…I mean take this lesson.”
She calmly pawed her whiskers. ‘Think of it as yoga, with some minor modifications…”
The photographic prompt was very powerful this week, so I wanted to put it front and centre of my submission.
Initially I wondered whether Foreigner’s ‘Eye of the Tiger’ offered a route to a story.
However it reminded me of ‘Tiger’s Eye’ gemstones. Googling that led me to chakras and Durga, a leap of imagination to yoga, before finally a sigh of relief when I discovered that ‘Tiger Pose’ really is a thing.
I built up the story, sentence by sentence, from those four elements.
Finally, as the piece required readers to buy in to Durga’s transformation, I added the “blonde, skinny, decaff lattes” description at the start of the story to ‘warm up’ their imaginations and provide a strong visual element from the outset.