Thursday, April 30, 2009

Really Short Stories

I can't write fiction. If only. But I can come up with a couple of concepts. For example, what if you could clone yourself and raise the clone as you think you should have been raised; cultivating and grooming the talents you have, or you believe you should have had, would have had. The story would end in a bitterly comedic battle between the big self and little self, full of irritation and frustration.

Can't I just tell you that it's bitterly comedic? Do I have to do all that plotting and character development and so forth? Can't you just take my word for it?

Or what about: There's a wealthy man with beautiful home and grounds and family, and perfection in every waking direction. But this man also spends 8 hours a night sleeping with terrible scream-out-loud dreams. And pit this guy against someone with a nightmare of a waking life who dreams beautiful, sumptuous, glorious dreams every night.

God, that story would take so much set-up -- so many scenes, confrontations, dialogue and adjectives.

Just crawl into my head, ok? It's all there. Uh, don't crawl too far, or you'll see other kinds of stuff. Old clarinet lessons, arguments, shopping lists, dreams.


  1. If we can crawl in there can we also walk?

    And if that other stuff is still hanging around, yes you could write fiction. The best work anyone ever does starts from the autobiographical, even fiction. But you knew that already, didn’t you? And that is what dreams are made of.

    And how did you like the elephant on the trampoline?

    WV wably

    Mid-Town G

  2. Last night I met a writer friend for drinks and we were tossing around ideas. I came up with some really unbelievable, over-the-top concepts, but then I realized I was talking about my own life.

  3. I think what you have are called movie pitches; people who love to read are going to be tedious and demand that you write the rest down.

  4. My name is Yu. I cloned a son and called him Me.
    Overheard one evening at the manor.
    Daughter: Where’s Me?
    Mother: I keep telling you,that’s bad grammer.
    Daughter: Why tell Yu? But I’m looking for me.
    Mother: Now that’s better. Go get your brother.
    Daughter: Me.
    Mother: Yes, you,
    Daughter: You said to go get Me!

  5. CB is funny.

    KB, you should submit something to my friend Paula's new flash fiction blog. Just 1,000 words.

  6. The first short story I ever published was based on a writer who could never finish a story, and all the characters revolted because they were sick of living in limbo. So, see? You've got an idea for short fiction right here.

  7. AH,
    I can't help you worth a flip. I can't string a sentence together. And by the way, (see? I started a sentence with AND) I'd pay some bucks to crawl in yo head.

    Who's on first????

  8. Jean understood. Writing fiction holds no attraction for me.

    I'd just like to throw out an idea and end it with "etc." You know, like pitch the first inning and then go home in a limo.

  9. OK, Virginia
    I'm busted
    I was going to go on for a while
    But I pulled in the reins before I allowed the juices to really flow.

  10. On the other hand, why bother?

    At this point, you’ve had at least ten readers since posting this a few hours ago.

    This probably surpasses anything you could hope from any “real” magazine – including that snooty one in New York that publishes fiction. (I can never remember its name…)

  11. Whenever I read a new post here I can't help but imagine there are scientists somewhere in Altadena peering through their glasses, their hands shoved deep into the pockets of their lab coats, whimsical looks on their faces as they read the latest data being sent.

  12. And the first thing they'd say is, "Shopping lists? We don't see no stinkin' shopping lists."


  13. Well, KB, you had this canine fooled good!

  14. The story I want to hear? You and the clarinet.

  15. I really like that first scenario. Rich territory. You should develop it. Don't listen to yourself.


  16. I think maybe you're a poet. Impatience with plot and narrative is often a hallmark.

  17. Did anyone see the bit on Leno tonight about Baconnaise? I had never heard of it until I read about it here. I think it's spreading.

  18. CB,
    Lordy, please don't let me stop the juices from flowing. Let er rip!

    K, I don't want to bring it up but the last time I checked, this blog thang didn't bring in a damn dime. KB might not want to give up on the "selling" aspect of her tremendous talent. Just a thought. ( Are you Cary Grant now??)


  19. So wutsa probalemb? A few scenes! A few set-ups! Okay, endless scenes and setups for the mebbe five minute payoff. But that five minutes is gold, baby.

    You lie like a vegetable farmer.

    No, I don't. (slap)

    You lie like a biographer.

    Yes, I do. I tell the truth like a fiction writer. Come here, you! (hands around neck)

  20. Susan beat me to it! I think flash fiction might be just the thing for you.

    The first story (by Margaret Finnegan) goes up one minute after midnight. Then it's a new story every Friday.

    The blog is here:

    The submission guidelines are here:

    (We're not kidding about that one quirky requirement.)

  21. You guys are sweet, but I really don't. Do fiction. But I'll read yours.

  22. Yeah man, adjectives are..., like...., such a drag.

  23. I hate adjectives most, then come nouns and verbs. I like adverbs, they're spunky.

  24. Write a true story and call it a lie.

  25. Do you read Barbara Holland. She don't do no fikshun either. She is excellent. You are excellent (writer). Time to get a publisher.

  26. I keep getting spammed by Russian porn sites on my gmail. I know cuz I can read cyrillic (although not spell it). I've been thinking what a field day you'd have with that topic.

  27. I've been getting that stuff too, Tash. I didn't know it was porn (they don't send pictures). I block them but they get a new email address every day and I'm on their list.

    Come to think of it, I haven't gotten any for a few days. Maybe the blocking finally worked.