I haven’t played “Friday Fictioneers” in a long time, but today when I saw the picture I couldn’t help myself. I take no responsibility for the subject matter. It was the jacket hanging on the end of the banister that did it. Honestly — I couldn’t help it. 🙂 And the weirdest thing is that it came out at exactly 99 words without any editing. Go figure.
Here’s the picture prompt courtesy of Ceayr
HOUSE OF FLAWED FLOWERS
It was a unique little operation. Nothing like the “red-light” districts Derek had been used to. No money actually changed hands here. Men who used the service hung their jackets on the end of the stair banister with the fee in the pocket. Once they were ensconced upstairs, Madam Beatrice relieved the jacket of its contents, and replaced it for the client to retrieve when finished. She even included an innocuous receipt for tax purposes: “One House Special – $100.” Derek had a desk drawer full of those receipts, but he couldn’t use them. His wife was his accountant.
Okey-dokey, folks, it’s time for a fresh writing challenge. I’ve been doing this exercise with some of my creative writing students to help them get a better grip on using dialogue creatively and successfully in their stories. It’s a challenge for sure, but it’s lots of fun.
So here’s the only rule. Write a short story (anywhere between 100 and 500 words) using nothing but dialogue. No introduction, no tag lines to identify speakers, no narration of any kind.
Two Helpful Hints:
1. Since you can’t use tag words to identify speakers, you’ll be restricted to only two characters so that the reader can follow the dialogue easily.
2. You’ll need to make sure your dialogue reveals the identity of the characters because you can’t narrate their identity or description to your readers.
Just post your story on your own site and hop over here and put the link into the “Comments” section for this post.
No time limit: This challenge is open-ended. Anytime you read this post and want to try your hand at a dialogue story, go for it. Do more than one if you like. And don’t forget to come back here and leave your link.
My own story is below:
“Mandy, what on earth have you done to the wall?”
“I’m drawing a merle, Mommy.”
“A merle. You know, a picture that covers the whole wall.”
“Oh, you mean a mural.”
“Right, and this is a picture of our whole family.”
“Yes. See this really big person is God, because our Sunday School teacher said that all families come from God.”
“I see. And, yes, Mrs. Osgood is right.”
“And then here’s Daddy and you and me and Francis and Baby Daniel.”
“Well, I understand God and Daddy and me and you and Francis, but who on earth is Baby Daniel?”
“My little brother.”
“But, Mandy, you don’t have a little brother.”
“Not yet, but he’s coming. God told me today.”
Anybody got a story about this lonely gate to . . . somewhere? . . . anywhere? . . . nowhere? . . . Wherever your imagination takes you.
If you’re in the mood for a writing challenge, create a new story from this photo by Terry Valley. Try to keep it around 500-800 words, and when you’ve posted it on your blog, hop over here and leave the link to the story in the “Comments” section below.
I’m not sure if I’ll have time this week to write a story for this picture or not, but whether I do or don’t, I hope several of you will. I’ll enjoy reading them, and I know others will too. Let’s say you can post your story anytime between today and next Wednesday, September 26.
And if you do write a story, be sure to put the link to this post on your site with your story so that your own followers will know about the challenge and can participate too.