May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 3

Here at WordTrip, we have monthly 'overall' writing challenges (not necessarily every month).

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May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 3

Postby JillStar » Sun May 15, 2016 8:13 pm

Get ready... get set... go!

Ready for week #3?

Here are your options for May's month-long challenge, part 3. Pick the next portion of whichever challenge you chose last week. When you have finished each week's prompt, feel free to create a thread here in the Word Trip Monthly Writing Challenge area and keep posting each one as you go. You can post your rough drafts, finished drafts... or none at all. ;)

Each week a new prompt of the challenge will be posted. Write a Flash Fiction piece with a total of a 100-1000 words each. These will be three separate Flash Fiction stories based on the prompt that is posted each week.


FIRST OPTION

Paragraph Prompt – Use the given paragraph as inspiration for the weekly story prompts leading to a mysterious conclusion. There will be weekly prompts to go along with the paragraph.

There wasn’t time to react the way one would react if given the opportunity to think about the entire situation. With everyone’s eyes turned with anticipation and uncertainty, there were only moments and those moments were ticking fast.

Week 1– Write a fictional story based on the above information using third person point of view. Give this story an ending but leave a hidden mystery for later.

Week 2 -Write a story from the viewpoint of another character in the first story showing a completely different version of what happened. Make this character someone unknown in any way to the main character in the first story. Give this story an ending as well and leave the mystery intact, perhaps adding more to it.

Week 3 – write a story of something happening in another part of town (or area) that involves a family member or a friend (or something to this affect) to the main character in story 1 or 2. Make it known that there is a connection, perhaps hinting to a possible solution to the mystery or not mentioning it at all. Give this story an ending as well but keep in mind there is more to come. If this does not work with what you've created so far, be even more creative.



SECOND OPTION

The Mixed Up Inspiration Challenge – a Hodge podge of prompts leading to a climatic ending!

Week 1 - Pick up a book and turn to chapter 17. Use the chapter title as inspiration to write your first story. No title to chapter 17? Use the 17th sentence instead. Add one or more of the following to your story as well…

a. “These steal toed boots are killing me!”
b. He was older than yesterday by a dozen years.
c. Jumping was the only way to save his/her life.

Week 2 - Use the following character description to write your second story. Put him into a situation that can link him to the first story.

This character is surly and aggressive and has shifty eyes. He was made to work in the family sweatshop and was educated by running errands for Vinny. He married badly and he has a chronic phobia of heights and confined spaces.

Week 3 - Use one of these plot ideas for your third story. Mention a character from one or both of your previous stories.

a. A runaway teen interviews a demoralized drug addicted outlaw.
b. A sensitive 39 year-old woman and a 74 year old-woman are at a marina. A secret recording has been made in this story of deception.
c. A routine blood tests shows two family members are not related in this story of greed.



THIRD OPTION

Journey Through Life Prompt – use the prompts to show the progression of life for a group of individuals. What is the moral of your story?

Week 1 – Use ONE of the following groups to begin your journey. The first story should end at a point in life where a new journey might begin.

a. Four boys sitting on a log near a stream throwing rocks and/or fishing
b. Three girls lying in the grass watching the clouds float into different shapes
c. A variety of young children all playing baseball or another sport

Week 2 – Use one of the following groups to continue your journey. You might want to use the one that goes along with the first story or pick another to wrap up a bigger story later.

a. Four men in their 20s heading out to the camp ground where something unusual happens causing an epiphany for one or more of them.
b. Three women in their 20s coincidentally at the same location are reminded of their friendship and decide to make some changes.
c. A variety of people in their 20s pick up where they left off as children and create a team that go on to compete in ways they never imagined.

Week 3 – use one of the following groups/situations to continue your journey. Remember, you can pick any of them but there is to be a moral to your story in the end.

a. Four men in their 40s after years of separation find themselves compelled to meet again and come to some enormous conclusions. One is going through divorce, one is experiencing health issues, one is just tired of mowing the lawn, and one has lost his parent to Alzheimer’s disease.
b. Three women in their 40s after years of living in the same neighborhood and going through many changes get together one night and have a séance.
c. A variety of people in their 40s at war with each other.



FOURTH OPTION

Roll of the Dice Poetry Challenge. Writing three poems using the weekly prompts (1 poem per week) with a final poem to bring them together.

Week 1 – Use one of the following prompts to write your 12 stanza poem (with or without rhyme). Extra challenge… roll a die to determine which one you will chose.

a. Word Prompt: time, single, burst, view, pocket, shadow, wild, sunset
b. Déjà vu… again and again
c. You took a wrong turn and ended up…

Week 2 – Use the following information to create your second poem.

Part 1) “on the porch, across the lake, down where the grass grows, where he lives”
Part 2) Roll your dice and add both number into your poem

Week 3 – use the following picture for your next poem. Use the word “dice” in your poem.

Image
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Re: May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 3

Postby JB » Tue May 17, 2016 1:56 pm

Very challenging, Jill. Took a bit of time to come up with week 2's submission. On to week 3. :-D
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Re: May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 3

Postby JB » Thu May 19, 2016 11:29 am

Hope this is where I put this, Jill. :-D

Week three:

Walota Singh rubbed the grease off his hand and onto his forhead as he stared at the small sea plane's cockpit . “Please start, please start old girl,” he begged under his breath.

If in answer, the Otter's propellers started humming and the old pilot felt the seaplane come back to life.

“That's it girl,” he said, almost tenderly. He babied the plane worse than his kids. At least that was what Miliana always told him.

“Yes!” With the small plane fixed, the Fijian pilot could now get back to business. A droning noise came from the floarboard of the cockpit.

“Oh, shut up!” His attention turned to his cell phone that had been buzzing for at least a half an hour. He had put it on mute for a reason. Those tourists just wouldn't leave him alone.

He shook his head. Meat and potatoes, he reminded himself as the phone rang again. He picked it up quickly and a sultry voice came across.

“Wally? Is that you?”

“Yes, Mrs. Ryans. It's...Wally.” He hated that name, but Americans seemed to call him that silly name, saying it was easier.

“Wally, Bob...Mr. Ryans, is wanting to go to Va Bacau today for some snorkeling. He wants to know....”

“Hold on, Mrs. Ryans, I need to take this call...” He cut her off quickly as she started to protest.

“Walota...Bula?...hello?”

“I'm here, Mili.”

“About damn time, Wal. Been trying to reach you for a freaking hour!”

“What's up?” Wally said, coolly, looking at his phones history. “Look, I'm sorry Mil, but Betty-lou has been giving me fits today. She has an oil leak and I had to fix her up before the Ryans' want to go out scuba diving.”

“Look, Wal, I don't have time to talk about your piece of junk plane. She's the only one I can get now. The Ryans' will just have to wait, too. It's an emergency!

“Let me guess. Those damn tourists that went on Vagu. That piece of junk Jarl II broke down again...”

“No, Wal...this is a real emergency...the islet is sinking...with those birders on it! And the Jarl is not there!”

Walota jumped into the pilot's seat and put on his sunglasses and headphones. "On my way, Mil...you're on Watahau right?"

"Yes, Wal...get over here...NOW!"

"On my way, Mil. Over."

"Mato? I gotta go..."

“You have clearance, Wal.”

Walota saw his friend Mato...and the only other person on the small airstrip, waving at him,

“Thanks, Mat,”

“Just watch the Ryans' yacht, ok?”

Walota grinned.

“I can still see you, dude. Don't buzz them. They pay good.”

“Not me, Mat.”

“You're just lucky that they came back after the incident last year.”

Mat just wouldn't let it go. Even though the Ryans apparently had.

“Moce, Sota-tale, Wally. And for God's sake, take care of Betty-lou. Oh. And save those damn stupid birders.”

Walota then heard a cackling laugh on the other end.

“Yeah. Bye and see you later, too, ya old pot-head.” He turned off his mic before he got a response and turned Betty-lou seaward, toward the small island of Watahau where Mili was waiting for him—buzzing the Ryans' large yacht on the way out of the harbour.

~~~~~~

“It was you or the Ryans. So of course, I came...”

“You mean they actually came back...Wally?” Miliana said, teasing her friend about the Ryans that Wal had left high and dry.

“Yeah. Not sure about next year, though.”

“Did it again, didn't you?”

It was more of a statement then a question. Wal knew that Mil knew him better than anyone.

“Let me see the glass, Mil. Left mine at the base.” He paused. “Yeah. I buzzed them. Was so close, I think I caught sight of them in their cabin...”

Miliana shook her head. “Here, bone-head.” She didn't want to hear about Wal and his peeping Tom ways. He was good with a plane and even though Betty-lou had seen better days, she was actually a very good plane. And the only one in the area right now.

“Damn. Get in the plane. NOW, Mil!”

The pair jumped into the boat that had stopped shy of the beach. Wal turned the engine.

Nothing.

“DAMN-IT!”

“Wal? What?”

Miliana grabbed the glasses out of Wal's hands and looked out toward the direction of Vera Magu.

The small islet was gone.
Last edited by JB on Tue May 24, 2016 11:12 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 3

Postby JillStar » Sun May 22, 2016 10:13 pm

Nice!

More intensity and I love how it makes me anxious to know what's going to happen next... who gets saved, if anyone, and what might happen over all!

Love it. Again.. sorry I took so long to come back and comment.
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Re: May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 3

Postby JB » Tue May 24, 2016 10:56 am

That's ok, Jill. Life gets busy. But just FYI. I goofed-- I had another snippet to week 3. So I added it to above and fixed (I think) a few holes I found in the story (the Jarl II for one...the boat that took the birders to the island had to be gone or there wouldn't be need of rescue.

Right now I'm trying to figure out where to take this. I was just about to kill Betty-lou off, but then I wouldn't have a way to get Mil and Wal over to Vagu to save (anyone!). So Wal has got to fix that plane--and fast!!! :shock:

Of course, there are always sea turtles mate!!!

Why did I just go there?!! So cliche :cry: :roll: [-X
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Re: May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 3

Postby JillStar » Mon May 30, 2016 3:04 pm

The island is gone!!! Maybe sea turtles are the answer. ;)

Love it...
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Re: May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 3

Postby PaulG » Tue May 31, 2016 4:54 pm

3 Flash- Option Two- Part 1 of 3

Paul woke up with a wicked headache and his feet hurt like hell. He realized that he still had boots on in the bed. He felt extremely groggy and his vision was blurry as he came to in this dim room.
“Where am I?” he asked to no one in particular.

A strange, mechanical sounding voice croaked back, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

“Why do my feet hurt so much?” Paul asked hoping more for relief than a coherent answer.

“It’s the extra toes in the boots. You’re wearing “steal toed” boots which come with someone else’s toes when they’re taken from the original owner!” the voice responded. “So each boot now has ten toes in it, yours and the original owners, but don’t worry they’ll grow on you!” the voice kind of chuckled out.

“This is insane.” Paul choked out, feeling sicker by the second. “Who exactly are you? And why am I here?” he inquired, hoping this was a bad dream.

“I am the Steel Toad, welcome to my office!” came the answer to Paul’s question.

Paul twisted around in the bed, feet still aching somewhat less, and to his disbelief, there sat a large man-sized toad, made entirely of metal, with large bulging eyes sized like tennis balls. His mind racing to figure what was going on prompted him to ask more questions of the Steel Toad.

“Are you sitting at a piano?” Paul queried, while thinking this could be an unimportant question, but it did come to mind first!

“Yes” the toad replied, “Anything you would like to hear from my repertoire?” “I do “Steal Away” by Robbie Dupree, and the complete catalogues of Steely Dan and Stealer’s Wheel!” “It’s tough playing without five fingers like you folks have, but I get by.”

Paul sat up, holding onto his head as it were about to explode.

The Steel Toad noted this and remarked “You might want a bite to eat, might change your outlook on the world this morning.”

“For your enjoyment we have, fresh from Washington state, some steelhead trout and for dessert, a nice piece of stollen, either poppy or cinnamon!”

Paul was starting to tire of all the “steel/steal” references, but opted for the poppy stollen. When he was finished he felt a little better and his feet started to pain him less.

The toad picked up on this and explained that the additional toes were becoming attached to his feet and that long term he would be pleased as his feet would be stronger and his balance improved. “You’ll be a helluva a dancer!” the toad exclaimed.

The toad told Paul that he was enjoying the company, but the social amenities needed to come to an end if Paul was to survive.

Paul choked out, “What do you mean survive, what’s going on here?”

The Steel Toad replied, “Look at your cell phone. What does your home screen say?”

Paul answered, “April 20th, what’s the big deal?”

“Look at the date again.” The toad responded with a voice that was quite somber.

Paul rechecked the phone, it was still April 20th, but it was 2028! “Are you kidding me!” he yelled now starting to flush as his frustration of dealing with this enigmatic toad began to manifest itself!

“Sorry” the toad countered, “I’m just the messenger here and I hope you take it seriously.” “You have aged twelve years overnight and will age a dozen years per day that you remain here, of that I can assure you. Everything going forward, I cannot predict nor can I assist you.” “Be thankful, you’re relatively young. Now!” “Do the math, a few more nights and you’ll be in your eighties and at a point where you can no longer help yourself.”

“How do I escape this lunacy? Paul snapped, panic creeping into his voice.

“You must jump through the hatch behind you, step out and pick either the left ramp or the right, the choice is yours. Where you go I do not know, but it is escape from here and the way to stop the aging.” The Steel Toad replied.

Paul turned and in the floor behind him was a bright orange hatch in the floor. Quickly he opened it and stepped through it onto the short path that led to the ramps. Paul stepped onto the left ramp and could only see smoke and occasional flashes of what he assumed to be lightning. Going onto the ramp to the right he looked down at what appeared to be an enormous, pink flower blossom. Paul stepped off and fell towards the blossom. About half way down he realized that was not a blossom but what looked like the giant maw of the Kraken as he could now make out the rows of teeth! Realizing his impending death, Paul closed his eyes and waited for the end. As he was about to enter the gullet of the giant beast the force of his fall shot him through what was actually painting of the creature’s mouth.

Falling through a dark void, Paul crashed feet first into a body of water. He surfaced moments later to see he was roughly fifty yards from the beach of a small cove. It was raining hard and the surf was roiling as the sky raged with a violent storm. The flood tide helped pushed him toward the small beach where he quickly pulled himself from the sea and proceeded to collapse a few feet above the high water mark. Paul had no idea as he hit the sand and slipped into unconsciousness if he had in fact saved himself.

End of flash one.
Intermission!

Intermission is over!
Flash Two is below.

Otto Skeks walked up out of the subway stairwell and griped to no one in particular, “Oh great, just enough of a rain to make the ugly summer weather worse!”

Summers in New York City and especially here in Brooklyn can be extremely uncomfortable. The temperatures don’t have to get into the nineties to make one feel miserable. Humidity is what gets you. This morning’s rain arriving as the temperature rose was perfect for misery! One of those heavy rains, lasting about twenty minutes and then going away, leaving plenty of water for the sun to convert to steam to make the high eighties currently predicted feel like a hundred easy!

Otto shlumped on towards his place of employment, watching everything from under the heavy eyebrows that caused one to focus on his beady, shifty eyes, the Pescatore Widget factory, a couple of piers down from the old Brooklyn Navy Yard. It was here that Otto had met his wife of thirteen years, the former Tina Pescatore, and late of the accounting department in her uncle’s company. She was “not ugly” when younger, but time had not been real friendly to Tina. After she and Otto had produced their first child, Tina kept on “eating for two” and the results showed. This made Otto’s bad disposition worse and he and Tina could “raise the roof” with the shouting matches they had.

The only reason they stayed together was that Tina knew she wasn’t going to find another provider, and Otto was “no Mel Gibson either” at this point in his life, if he ever was. Their child, Elle, was the glue that kept them together. She was a pretty child of seven years. Some family members as well as some of Otto’s co-workers wondered how these two mutts had generated such a charming child, likable as well as attractive. Otto’s only issue with her was Tina’s insistence on the name, Elle. He knew at some point in her young life she’d get a load of grief for her “palindrome name” as her dad had during his school days.

Otto stepped into the former Navy warehouse that was the home of Pescatore Widget. The nice part about working here was that it was all on one floor and wide open. Otto was a tad claustrophobic as evidenced years ago on a class trip to the Empire State Building. The trip to the observation deck on the eighty-sixth floor was the “reward” for surviving the ride in a packed elevator designed for people of the 1930s! He thought he would pass out for sure after popping out of the elevator seeing more of New York City than he had ever hoped to from almost one thousand feet up. He quickly dodged his group and made his way back to the ground level via the stairwell. That was his last trip there.

As he came past the assembly line before the start of shift, his foreman and closest confidante, Vinny Calzone, yelled over to him, “Otto, how ya doin’? Did you see about that guy that staggered ashore over on Shooter’s Island in Mariner’s Harbor on Staten Island yesterday?”

Otto replied he hadn’t as his newspaper interests tended towards lottery results, the race lines at Aqueduct and Mets scores. After that he wouldn’t have known if God had thrown out the first pitch over at Yankee Stadium!

Vinny cracked up when Otto said he hadn’t. He knew Otto was no PhD candidate but he was definitely living in a very small world. Vinny had known Otto since high school and had gotten him the job with Pescatore. He worked hard at getting Otto up to speed so that he would be an “adequate” worker in the view of Mr. Pescatore.

Vinny gave Otto the basics of the story, “Yeah, they pulled some poor dumb bastard off the beach on Shooter’s Island yesterday. He kept mumbling how he had fallen out of the sky after talking to a metal frog or something like that. You know that poor son of a bitch is now on vacation at Bellevue. Probably on drugs. What a clown!”

Otto chuckled at Vinnie’s story. “That is like so weird.” he said as they walked off to start their day.

End of # 2
Time for another intermission!

Intermission is over, get back to work reading this!

“Mr. Skeks?” Dr. Little called out to the man standing in the far corner, staring out the window in the back of the waiting area. “I have some news about your daughter’s situation.”

“It seems she will be all right if we can make a transplant quickly. However, there is a slight problem. Your blood types don’t allow us to use you as a donor and your wife is medically not a candidate either. Elle is type “AB”, as is your wife. You are type “O” which means you are cannot be her father. A mother can only have an “AB” child with a partner who is an “A”, a “B” or a type “AB”. Are you Tina’s second husband?”

It took a few seconds for this to sink in Otto’s befogged mind. A few seconds later Otto departed from reality in total as he was able to “connect the dots”, his last perceptive thought process for what would become a very long while.

When he came to, Otto had no idea where he was, only that he was strapped into a hospital bed. He felt and heard another presence in the room but could not turn to see. He pulled against the strapping to no avail and settled in to the futility of this endeavor. His actions did not go unnoticed. “Hey man, you want out?” the unseen presence asked.

Otto replied quickly, “Of course, I am not stupid. Where are we?”

“A psych ward at Bellevue. I’ve been here a couple of days. Let me know if you want out. I have a plan.”

“Who are you?” Otto inquired.

“Call me Paul. You may have seen an article about me in the papers. They found me on the small beach over by Staten Island the other day. They think I’m nuts. That not the medical term they use, but it boils it down much better when you say it that way.”

Otto remembered the article he and Vinny were talking about the other day. He wasn’t sure what to think at this point, but the thought of getting out was high on his list. “I’m in for getting out. At this point my life’s crashing in on me anyway, I’ve got no reason to not to chance it.” he responded to Paul.

“Yeah I heard you talking in your drugged state about your kid not being yours and all that. How you were going to even things up!” Paul answered.

“How does this plan of yours work?” Otto demanded.

Paul hopped out of his bed and went over to Otto to explain the outline for their escape attempt. Paul had managed to get out of his restraints through some judicious tensing and flexing of his muscles as they were strapping him down after changing the bedding earlier that day. He gave Otto the basic rundown and told Otto to follow his lead when in doubt. The plan was dependent on quickness and distraction and hopefully, a lot of good fortune.

About two twenty-four that morning, one of the two nurses on duty came down to Paul and Otto’s room and let himself in to “help them sleep” a little longer. Paul knew that this shift was lightly manned and that he and Otto would not be “playing against the A team”. As per Paul’s earlier instructions, Otto started moaning which distracted the nurse before he could administer the drugs to the two inmates. Paul came up behind the nurse and injected him with the second syringe’s load of thorazine from the service tray he had pushed into their room. The nurse struggled briefly but was fighting against some powerful stuff. He went down and Paul shot him up with the other syringe the nurse had just been about to inject Otto with before Paul hit him with the first dose. Paul’s thinking if one dose is good, two is definitely better! With the nurse out of the way Paul and Otto made preparations to get under way. They found their street clothes in the cupboard in the back of their room. As the nurse was a bit bigger than both of them Paul was able to put the scrubs over his clothes and did not look out of place. He had Otto get back into his bed and covered him up in his clothes so he could push the bed down the hall to the stairwell. The other duty nurse was up the far end of the hall so their plan as simple as it was worked without a hitch. Currently they were on the third floor of the psychiatric building so they could shoot down the stairwell and out into the night. Down the stairwell and hitting the exit near the cafeteria put them in a position to bounce out onto E 28th Street. Paul planned to head up towards Times Square and disappear into the area near Penn Station. Otto knew he would hightail it down First Avenue towards the bridges back into Brooklyn.

Paul and Otto shook hands and went in two different directions immediately upon hitting the street. Even though it was two-thirty in the morning there were plenty of people to blend in with in Manhattan as they each made their respective getaway. It would be an hour before the other nurse would realize his partner had not returned to the nurses’ station and by that time, the roommates were long gone and in Manhattan, now invisible!

Such is the bane and benefit of mass transit in a big city, especially the biggest!

End of chapter 3, time for a word from our sponsor! :yimcoffee:
Last edited by PaulG on Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 3

Postby JillStar » Tue May 31, 2016 8:32 pm

Interesting how you brought the two characters together. This portion of the story is a little bit scattered and I had a hard time following. There were just some areas where the wrong word was added, etc. and it distracted me a bit (I'm sure when you do a final draft, you will catch them). I"m a little unsure about the two paragraphs where, in one, you describe what they will do and then in the very next, you describe what they did do. I'm not sure if both are necessary.

The other thing is that I'm unsure why Otto is there... what exactly did he do that caused him to be there with Paul. I get what Paul did... he thinks he has steel toes... (haha) but Otto was just told his kid might not be his. I don't see that sending a person to the loony bin... maybe I missed something?

I definitely like how you've used all of the prompts to create what you have so far! I think this story has some great potential and I can't wait to see how you're going to wrap it up. ;)
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Re: May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 3

Postby PaulG » Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:40 pm

It does give the appearance that I rushed Otto into Bellevue. My thinking was I didn't need to explain that upon his "connecting the dots" that the daughter wasn't his, he flipped out and wound up being deposited by the NYPD in Bellevue after they were called in to calm him down. Go crazy in NYC & there's a good chance you get a "time out" in Bellevue.
As fate would have it he wound up with Paul as a roommate.
I also thought those two paragraphs were a kind of duplication, but I wasn't sure if I should eliminate either. In the first Paul gives Otto the plan & the second describes the execution of the plan. They may need to be combined with Paul telling Otto the plan but I don't tell the reader until it actually plays out. Does that seem to be the way to go?
Maybe I could use a week at Bellevue! :helpme:
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Re: May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 3

Postby JillStar » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:53 pm

I cannot say whether or not you should spend time in Bellevue... that calls for much more analysis than I'm willing to give at this time... LOONEY TOONEY!

And I can't find the words that did not make sense now... apparently I read them wrong or my mind has turned looney as well.

I think the two paragraphs where he tells what they will do and then describes what they DO end up doing would be fine if it were a longer story... say, a chapter later? I honestly thought you were going to have him describe the escape and then, when they actually tried it, it didn't work quite as planned.
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Re: May 2016 - 3 Flash to 1 Short Challenge - Week 3

Postby PaulG » Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:36 pm

Ok, I've tidied up the "escape" scene (above). Now hopefully, wrap it up.
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