Yep, I’m excited! October 2 is the day Flash Fiction Online will publish “Dani-Girl’s Guide to Getting Everything Right.” This is the story I wrote in the summer after reading Ron Carlson’s “Ron Carlson Writes a Story.”
I did exactly what he said. It was a Tuesday, one of my two days a week I can count on not being bugged by the real world. I sat down in the morning with a title and a vague idea about what I wanted the story to be. Actually, it was a story I’d written years ago, but it had fallen flat and I filed it in some deep-six archive on my hard-drive. The original concept was still a good one, so I decided to tie the story to the new title that had popped into my head. The title supplied the framework or skeleton on which to hang the story. It gave it attitude.
Carlson says the trick is to stay in the chair. Haha! Easier said than done. BUT in his book, he coaches you. Here’s the first sentence. Don’t worry about it. What do you know about this first part that is important to tell the reader? See it. Write that down. Don’t worry. You can fix it later. What next? What else do you happen to know?
Well, you get the drift. And it was amazing. When I had the urge to leave the chair, my stomach growling, my body itchy, my mind wandering toward the television set, I told myself, wait, stay put, what else do you know. And I knew something else. “Dani-Girl,” “The Breach,” and “One Question” are the only three stories that flowed out. Boom. There they were with only a little revising, a little editing. And there’s always editing and revising. Don’t tell Ron, but I would have revised his first sentence in his example in the book had “The Governor’s Ball” been my story! Ah, but his whole story worked so another lesson. Things don’t always have to be perfect!
Getting a story from beginning to end doesn’t always work this way, but when it does, it’s a reward for all the times it doesn’t flow.
I hope you all read it and like it. Let me know what you think. October 2.