“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
W. Somerset Maugham
I love this. Kind of cheeky, but so true.
I was sitting around with a friend the other day, surfing the internet and laughing at entertaining websites, when we came upon one I hadn’t visited in a while: fmylife.com.
Weirdly, I got a ton of ideas for stories. Yes, some of the posts are obviously fake. Some are also unlikely and far-fetched, but isn’t that what we want for a story sometimes? If a mishap was commonplace, it wouldn’t make such an interesting read. Some of the posts are even deeply sad. You may have to look through a lot to find one that speaks to you, but if you have writer’s block, it could really be worth it. Look what I got from this one:
Today, I packed all my clothes in a black garbage bag, so I could easily move them to my new house. When I came back outside to load it into my car, the bag was missing, and all I could see was a garbage truck driving away with the week’s trash. FML
Okay, losing one’s clothing? Unfortunate but not Earth-shattering. What else could have been in one of those bags that would be catastrophic to lose? Don’t you just feel the ideas flooding in? Or this one…
How in the world did that dog lose two toes? Or if you are a humorous writer, this one…
Let the extreme family conflict commence! If you find any super-evocative FMLs, post them in the comments section! I’d love to see what you all find.
This is a piece of flash fiction I wrote for a contest. There was a very tight word limit, which is why it is so short. I didn’t win the contest (which was huge and international so I really wasn’t surprised), but I think this piece has the potential to say a lot about manmade destruction versus nature with some work. Please let me know what you all think! I love suggestions and criticism, as long as it is constructive. Thanks for reading!
Molly stepped through the garden of carnage, placing her feet gingerly as if the field would crumble beneath a misstep like an eggshell. With each footfall, the lifeblood of the battlefield bubbled up around her soles. As she tiptoed over scattered muskets and stone still hooves of horses, her schoolbooks slipped loose from her pudgy fingers and fell with a soft pat onto a tattered blue wool chest. Reminded of school, she turned slowly to gather up the curling bundles of pages. A low sound, like the hum of a sewing machine, broke the silence of the misty morning and she paused, fearful. Her quick breaths had been the only sounds she had heard since straying from her path. Molly knelt next to the body from which the sound emanated – could he be alive? The little girl’s skirts ballooned out and parted the sea of bodies, soaking up mud from the field. She gently touched the gold Union insignia on the chest of the man’s uniform – there was movement there. Not breath, but a stirring from within. Suddenly, in a maelstrom of yellow and black, a riot of wasps burst from the festering entrails in which they had made their nest. Molly let out a small gasp of shock and held perfectly still as they swirled around her and dispersed. Not a single one harmed her delicate skin.
I am just posting up a storm! This is my last one for today. I took this photo at Drunk Bay in St. John, Virgin Islands. The beach has lots of rocks and interesting detritus and people often leave impromptu art there. I thought this piece was beautiful and I wonder who made it – what is their story? What brought them to that beach? What life experiences do they have that made them want to convey this message to others? It is a beautiful part of a person that they have left behind for others to experience in their own way. Spark anything for you? Let me know! I would love to read it.