Sept 25 – Friday Favourites 4

Hi, all! It’s Monique with the last “Friday Favourite,” a prompt that is a generic premise for a story that is also the description of a classic (or favourite!) novel. The month has gone by so quickly! I was too busy to do as much as I had hoped, but I have a lot of story ideas sketched out, if nothing else.

In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the story of Dr Frankenstein and his Monster is told within a frame story. The frame, at the beginning and end of the novel, is a series of letters. Captain Walton writes to his sister while on a mission to explore the North Pole. He is ambitious and in search of fame. While on the trip, Walton meets Victor Frankenstein who recognizes in Walton these harmful characteristics that he shares and relates his story as a means of demonstrating the possible (or inevitable) negative consequences of them.

The story demonstrates how a flaw — like overarching ambition — can lead to an error in judgement that has a final, tragic result. The framing story of Captain Walton reinforces the theme, making it all the more powerful.

The Prompt

Write a story that revolves around a character with a ‘fatal flaw’ who, as a result, commits a fatal error that has a tragic result. Use a frame story to reinforce the flaw.
(Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley)

Tips

Another clear example of the flaw/error/tragic result storyline is Macbeth. Macbeth has excessive ambition (flaw) and, as a result, kills King Duncan (error). As a result, there is a lot of death and madness.

In Frankenstein, the frame story is told in the form of letters. You can use letters (or emails), diary entries, or something else entirely.

Many characteristics can become ‘fatal flaws’ in the right situation. While ambition is not necessarily negative, it can overcome someone’s better judgement. In the same way, attachment to a person or object can become unhealthy obsession.

Have fun!

Monique Cuillerier has always loved to write. She also enjoys procrastination. These two interests are frequently in conflict. Her stories have appeared in Round Up Writer’s Zine, Black Heart Magazine, (parenthetical), and elsewhere. She blogs sporadically (although more frequently during Story A Day!) at notwhereilive.ca

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