She found the old armchair on the pavement, a beat-up dark leather job. A classic freecycle.
From her student days into womanhood, it accumulated stories: her one-time bisexual romp, her mother’s last meal, her son’s playchair, her husband’s evening cigar: practising smoke-rings when he thought no one was watching.
The impression of derrières became ever deepened. The horse hair falling out of the caved seat was not a surprise, but the miniature femur which followed was. Later, she was shown five tiny skeletons, some wisps of human hair and the tapestry of slaughter soaked into the underside of the leather.
Above is the 100-word story “Freecycle” that I’ve just submitted for the Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge (NB I’ve checked the rules, and it’s fine for me to publish it here). Many thanks to the guys at WLWG for their feedback yestereve. As always, their input was invaluable. Fingers crossed. I will only hear if I’m one of the 20 shortlisted. But in any case, shortlisted or not, it was a good exercise to do it and I thoroughly enjoyed writing this piece.
Read more from Sophus about the Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge:
OK, I have an admission. Although I did enroll in Coursera’s Science Fiction and Fantasy course with the University of Michigan. I’m realising that it’s one commitment too far, there are simply not enough hours in the day for me to do this, my blog, my novel and all the other extra-cirricular activities that I am involved in. It’s one thing too many, lest all the balls that I am juggling come tumbling down.
The reading list is great (and I think it I will follow it), the course materials are great, but enrolling late and trying to launch myself into it was a little optimistic. I think that I will definitely enroll into another course where I have prepared myself timetable-wise. In fact, Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative, a Coursera course with Vanderbilt University which starts in the summer looks particularly entertaining (one of the classes is held in the LOTR MMORPG), but I digress…
Progress with writing 4&20
As far as crafting long-form fiction goes, I am a slow writer. I spend hours agonising over every word and phrase. Constantly fact-checking and looking for better suited synonyms to make my writing just so. Although I would say that overall my standard of writing is fairly good, there isn’t very much of it and to put it frankly, a snail would easily outpace me.
I’ve been blogging for just under 2 weeks, and I really feel that it is helping me. Helping to give me focus in my writing. I have been in a writing slump for nearly half a year: I set aside my novel 4&20 and my fairy tale fantasy world, and they’ve been gathering dust in a shadowy corner. Although I have not yet added anything to my word count for Four and Twenty Blackbirds, it has been foremost in my thoughts this past fortnight. I have been world building and developing my characters, something that I have not done in an age. I’ve also signed up for a drop-in writing class this Thursday with the very awesome Anne Aylor, which I really think will help get my proverbial ink flowing.
100-Word story: jeffrey archer short story challenge
On other fronts, I have finished my 100-word story for the Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge, entitled FreeCycle. I will be going over it with my writing group WLWG on Wednesday, and will post it here after submitting it to the competition.
Happy writing, one and all.
Posted in 4and20BB, Fairy Tales, Inspiration, Submissions, WLWG
Tagged 100-word story, Anne Aylor, Character Development, Coursera, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, fiction, Inspiration, Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge, Narrative, Realistic Goals, Science Fiction, Short Story, WLWG, World Building, Writer's Block, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Competitions
The advent of ebooks has breathed new life into the short story, but a new competition by Curtis Brown and Kobo has given it a new twist. The Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge, judged by Jeffrey Archer is for writers in the UK, US and Canada in any genre, submissions: 100-word max.
Rather short, n’est-ce pas?
The prize is a rather yawning free enrolment in a Curtis Brown online novel-writing course, but the proposition is intriguing. Having recently pondered the art of sentence-making (NB the shortest horror story Knock), I’m inspired to enter. For the second time today, challenge accepted!
(FYI, by way of example, the article above is 100-words).