[Write on Wednesday] Through The Keyhole

This month at StoryADay, I’m focusing on Flash Fiction. Be sure to check in  regularly and follow me on Twitter.

A novel invites the reader to explore an entire house, down to snooping in the closets; a short story requires that the reader stand outside of an open window to observe what’s going on in a single room; and a short short requires the reader to kneel outside of a locked room and peer in through the keyhole.

Bruce Holland Rogers
(2013-02-25). The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction

Let’s take Bruce at his word.

The Prompt

Imagine you’re looking through a big, old-fashioned keyhole, into a room. Write a story of fewer than 1000 words, about what you can see

Tips

  • Think of this as a way of reducing the events of whatever is going on in the room to the moment.
  • Use powerful imagery and strong verbs to narrate the story and make it ‘flash’.
  • In a story this short you probably only have room for one or two characters.
  • A story this short can only focus on one moment/event.
  • Use dialogue to convey information. Hint at backstory with tone and word choice.
  • When you have finished your first draft (and therefore know what the story is about) go back and work on your opening lines

Leave a comment below, letting us know how you got on with this prompt, or what ideas it sparked for you.

3 thoughts on “[Write on Wednesday] Through The Keyhole”

  1. Hi Julie,
    Hope you are well. Does this work?

    REFLECTION
    A ten-year-old tomboy, bored, alone, the youngest, playing with that self-pitching contraption you bought your son, who’s reading comic books, in his room, on such a beautiful day. Mom’s in the kitchen. I stomp on the closed end of the contraption, jetting air to the whiffle ball atop the opened end. I swing the yellow bat at the suspended ball; it soars over our nine-foot hedges. Now I have to go get it. But first, I spy you in the picture-frame window, doubled-over with laughter. And I don’t know what it was mom said, but now I’m laughing with you.

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