Monthly Archives: June 2011

Drabble #26: Alcohol

Opening a cabinet above he pulled out a bottle of scotch and two glasses, shuffling into the living room. Slowly I rose from the table and followed my host.

I retrieved the heavy file from my briefcase and brought it to the coffee table. Red poured Scotch into each glass.

Sitting down on the edge of the couch next to him, I pushed the folder toward him. Red took a sip from his glass, thumbing through the text files and photographs. The victims had been tortured, then suffocated. Red’s face blanched. Draining his glass, he winced then poured himself another.

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Munday – Drabbles

1. Do you go over 100 words, or find your drabbles coming up short more often?

I always tend to write more. The challenge is in the edit so that it fits to that 100 word mark.

2. What do you do to edit when you’re over/under where you should be?

I will be more sketchy with my details, delete unnecesssary dialogue and do a lot of implied metaphor. In other words, I do a hatchet job on it or just provide a snippet or snapshot of something larger.

3. Have you learned anything about word choice and economy of words by writing drabbles?

No. That isn’t something that writing drabbles has taught me. When you write for the media, you have to write tight, concise pieces in the inverse pyramid fashion. That has to come with practice and with the editorial demands of the delivery system you are using. Writing for print isn’t like writing a PR piece or a piece for broadcast media and neither of them is like writing for a documentary or a screenplay. There are standards in each of these arenas and so you have to adapt accordingly to what those are. Writing fiction for this comm and on LJ is what I do to unwind. Some people have a cigarette. I write a few paragraphs.

One thing I have learned is that nothing here on LJ is worth stressing over. Save that kind of anxiety for something that writes you a paycheck.

4. About how long does it take you to write a drabble?

That really depends on a number of factors. If the Muse is in the mood and inspired, it can take me ten minutes. If the Musse is reluctant, or if I have a huge number of things on my plate, it may take me several hours or a half a day to get it to where I want it to be.

5. Do you have any secret drabbling tips / hints to share with your fellow drabblers?

Carry a notebook with you at all times, or barriing that, drop keywords into your smartphone to remind you later. Sometimes inspiration can come from something heard on the radio, in an overheard conversation or at any number of places.

Also, think and write cinematically. The drabble is very similar to a Mise-en-scène. You have a single frame and it is that single frame, that snapshot that is visible. The Mise-en-scène is what we see. Editing is what we do not see. So you do not need to include everything. That is a tough lesson to learn for someone like me who likes to either analyse things to death and /or give lots of details in my writing. You still want to convey what is important, but you have to do it with an “economy of style” so as to hit that magic 100 words.

Bonus question:
If you are participating in 100 Drabbles of Summer, how many have you completed so far?

I have just a couple done so far and will post them later today. Lots of deadlines to meet, and fortunately has a fairly long one on this assignment. 😉

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Obedience Under Duress

Tonight, make a decision and make it fast. No hesitation or indecision allowed!
What’s the situation requiring Instant Action(tm)? What decision do you make? Who else is affected?

“You will provide a written testament of the current status of your project,” he said, waving a writing pad before her.

“And you will take an oath to make regular reports to me on the work done by Herr Chaubert and others of your order working on similar goals. And if you do, you shall be released. I will put you back in your cell to think on this. And I will leave you pencil and paper. Just in case.”

Francoise McKay regarded the masked man looming in front of her. She caught the eyes behind the masque and wondered why he deemed it appropriate to wear one. She could perceive no obvious deformity from this vantage point. Perhaps it was not, she thought, because of vanity. She only stared at him numbly. Captain Mors was obviously running out of patience. What was so pressing, she wondered?

“You have only a short time, Frau McKay,” Captain Mors offered as he placed the pad and pencil before her. “I would not take too much time to decide or to write out what I have asked you for.” Elegantly he then turned toward the door and did not utter another word, nor did he look back at her. Continue reading

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Do you really want to live forever?

Do I have a choice?

But then ‘forever’ for humans it is far different from the Sidhe definition of the same word. I am already centuries old, how many humans can have achieved that? And we do not ‘die’ in the same way that humans might. From my vantage point I have seen the roll of history, the many changes and upheavals. Each generation so-very-certain that the one within which they exist will be the last.

Each one has been wrong.

This time I wonder, however. Never have I seen such destruction for no reason other than the incessant dissatisfaction that only greed can bring. Nature is always been regenerative, even in the face of war, famine and pestilence. Most everyone is walking around poisoned and a disease unto themselves and only we who are one form of Immortal or another can truly see the difference between what it once was, and what it is now. The air is a miasma of smoke and filth, even in places that are called ‘pristine’. The water has less and less life within it so that it no longer nourishes or adeqately sustains. The soil labors constantly with no true rest.It is a wonder to me that anything grows at all anymore.

Do I want to live forever?

What I want is not relevant. The issue is whether or not I will. Fortunately or unfortunately, however, what I am has already decided the answer to that.

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100 Drabbles of Summer

Table under cut

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