Welcome to the first episode of “Super-Short Storytime!” Today’s tale is about bumping into old classmates. Enjoy “Betty’s Baby,” a selection from “Ten Tiny Tales.”
This week’s New Thing is my super-short story for January 2016. It is actually a follow-up to last November’s story, which ended on a cliffhanger.
A question I often have to ask myself when writing a short story is just when do I start the story. “Well, at the beginning, DUH,” you’re probably thinking to yourself, but things often aren’t that simple.
Since I often have a word limit that I can’t go over, that often doesn’t leave me with enough space to set things up, so the story ends up starting somewhere after the characters, setting, situation, etc, have been established. Oftentimes, though, those details are not all important to the point I’m trying to make in the story, so that’s okay.
Whenever I’m doing a ‘gag’ story, which is fairly often, I really can’t start at ‘the beginning’ (wherever that may be) because starting near the end makes it easier to hide information that is critical to the punch line. The challenge there is making sure that I give the reader enough information so that they understand what is going on.
Start at the beginning? If it were only always that simple!
I constantly see artist friends posting their art up on various places out on the tubes, and every so often I’ll just browse a friend’s DeviantArt or Furaffinity account to pass the time and to be amazed by their abilities. As can be evidenced by my book covers, I have ZERO design sense when it comes to anything visual.
I happened to be looking at Amanda Coronado’s artwork on DeviantArt and came across a picture titled “Birds of Hermes.” To me, the picture showed two brothers having a cute moment; the younger not wanting to go somewhere or do something his elder was making him do. The smaller one just has that ‘do we HAVE to’ look about him. As the youngest of three brothers, I could easily see myself in that spot.
Of course, a ‘moment’ does not make a story, so the tale begins just before the picture. The two brothers have their moment, but also have a task to accomplish, and from then on it becomes ‘my’ story, which means that hilarity ensues. I titled the story “Special Delivery” and you can read it here.
It just goes to show that you never know where inspiration where come from. I guess I need to go fishing for inspiration in my friends’ artwork a little more often.