Flash Fiction Exercises for Writers

flash fictionI recently came across a thread somewhere on the internets that lead me to a new book – The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers, and Writers in the Field
by Tara L Masih

There’s a rather long introduction all about the history of flash fiction, which, although interesting, I ended up skipping most of so I could get to the real reason for purchasing the book. The exercises!

Each chapter is written by a different person (author, editor, teacher etc) and has an exercise in writing flash fiction with a finished example. Today’s Flash Fiction Friday post is from the first chapter example by Pamela Painter, called “He said, she said.” I’m already going to say I recommend this book for the insight this first chapters has given me into the writers craft and the importance of doing exercises.

And her is my first attempt at this exercise…


The Pet Shop Debate

He said: Dog person, I bet he wants a dog.
She said: Hmm, but she’s defiantly more into cats I think.
He said: I wonder who’s going to compromise?
She said: They could always try something different, something neither of them considered before.
He said: Nah, I can’t see this guy settling happily for a fish or a hamster, he’s heart is set on a dog.
She said: Oh, but look how happy she is cuddling the persian, they look so right for each other.
He said: Bet you he wont even touch the cat, look how he’s edging towards the puppies.
She said: He could at least try.
He said: How do you know he hasn’t?
She said: Because most men think that “trying” means thinking about it for five minutes and not actually putting the effort in to make it work.
He said: And women think it means the man should just put aside what he really feels and let her have her way, again.
She said: She’s probably going to be the one who does all the work for the damn pet, so it only stands to reason that they get something she’s willing to care for.
He said: Sure, sure. Maybe if the guy, for once, got his way, he would put in more of an effort.
She said: Maybe if the guy really knew what he wanted, he’d put in the effort.
He said: He looks like he knows what he wants to me, he just doesn’t know how to tell her. It’s not his fault he can see they want different things and compromising isn’t going to work anymore.
She said: It would make her so happy if he wanted the same things as her.
He said: It’s not his fault he doesn’t feel the same way, the heart wants, what the heart wants, you know?
She said: Yeah, I know. He’s going to leave her, isn’t he?
He said: He doesn’t want to, but he thinks its best for both of them.
She said: She knows. She just not ready to stop trying, and, if it didn’t work, at least she wouldn’t be all alone.
He said: I get that, but it wouldn’t be fair to them or the pet if they split later. They should accept how it is and move on before they complicate things further.
She said: I think she knows that, she just wants something to remember him by, when he’s gone.
He said: He’ll never leave her totally, he still loves her, he’s just not ‘in love’ with her anymore.
She said: I’m taking my lunch early, you close up okay?
He said: Okay, sorry.

Creative Commons License
More stories by Tracey Ambrose @ traceyambrose.com
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