So this past week or two we’ve moved on from 500 word stories to 750 word stories. And with this new transition came “style writing.” This is probably an unknown form of writing, but done right can actually be pretty good.
A style piece is virtually a story written in a real life template. A real life template can be virtually anything that’s used in reality: a poster, magazine, blog, a test, etc. Done right it actually looks pretty cool, and there are probably a number of outlets that would publish it. The only published example I’ve seen is in our school “textbook” which is pretty good book actually, it’s called “Flash Fiction Forward: 80 Very Short Stories.” It‘s a good book, with a good amount of flash fiction stories.
Anyway, I managed to write my own in the form of a fortune teller, or as some people know it a “cootie catcher”? I still don’t understand why they call it that. A bunch of people in my course wrote style pieces in advertisement form, recipes and those street signs that have the “tear here” tabs at the bottom. All of them were pretty cool, though let’s be honest we are not professionals so we still have a lot of work to do, especially me. Which in the end makes it all the more fun, and challenging. Of course, that’s what being a writer is all about. We need challenges to find out what we are good at and what we’re bad at. It’s all about the experience.
I will not deny that mine is probably bad. Most of my word count is actually in my instructions. But I tried my best.
The photo here doesn’t show all the instructions, sorry. I would have posted a .pdf but that doesn’t seem viable on blogger, at least I’m not sure how. Anyway, I did the best I could and this style piece you actually have to cut out the fortune teller and figure out what sentences fit best together to get the whole story, or at least understand it.
The most difficult part about this form in particular is that you need to be as specific as possible, either giving your reader the exact patterns to follow to get the story (which I probably should have done) or make it so that the story was readable from any angle they chose. Pretty complicated, huh?
My creative writing class is great. I love sharing what I’ve learned so far. Why don’t you guys try a style piece? I admit, it’s quite the challenge.
Hey guys. It’s been a while since I’ve written anything, but I finally managed to post up about three or four stories in the last couple of days. It probably doesn’t make up for lost time, but it may become a frequent thing. I’m busy with the end of the semester coming, and getting sick so often. I’ll keep trying to come up with good publishable material. Don’t forget to leave a comment or suggestion if you have one. I’d love to hear what you have to say.
I’ve been receiving some feedback/complaints from friends about how I should post to tumblr, but I’m not quite sure if the formats for me. I’m still getting used to this, and I’m fairly comfortable with this setup.
I’ve posted the following stories,
which I actually wrote on my phone during times of boredom, sickness and in the middle of class honestly. I tried to edit as much as possible, but in the end you are the judge of the work. I hope you guys enjoy them and keep coming back to read more.
I’ve got the runs.
I’m moving around in my chair, just waiting to be released from class. All I can think is I’ve gotta get outta here!
I’ve got places to go man, people to see. And this class is a total joke. Let me out!
I’ve got the runs.
The sad fact is I’m not very fast, but I keep moving from building to building, Never too far from home of course. I like to keep close to where I live.
I’ve gotta get to this meeting! I need to be there at twelve, then an advisory meeting at one on the other side of campus. Not to mention I’ve got five minutes to eat, then hall counsel at one-twenty, and tutoring at three.
I listen to my professor, he’s the background noise to my anxious staring at the clock.
Tick-Tock. Blah, blah, blah.
Tick -Tock. Womp, womp, waaa…
There goes the clock. I’ve gotta move fast. No time for breaks or jokes. I’m on the move.
“Get out of the way!”
“You’re very lucky to be receiving this opportunity.” The nurse sticks a needle into my hand. She connects the IV to my supply bag. “Only a few are given this amazing chance, Meeka. Of course,” she smiles, “there aren’t many who have done what you have, either.” She wags her finger at me like I’ve been a naughty child.
I growl at her and tug on my restraints, but the titanium cloth keeps me down. The nurse shakes her head, tightening the straps with the push of a button. “I was like you once, I think. Rebellious. Soon that won’t matter anymore, dearie. No more war, treacherous parents…dead siblings to mourn.”
I bare my jagged teeth at her as she looks away, tugging on my restraints. They creak under the force as I smile at her, licking my lips. I can feel my eyes dilate, becoming thinner—vertical. I’m gonna rip your mouth off your face.
“I’m gonna cut your head off .” I laugh, banging my head against the cold steel table. “When I’m done with you, you’ll be nothing but stains on the floor.”
“Welcome.” Its not the nurse whose talking, the voice is too masculine. I look up and a screen appears from a hidden panel in the ceiling.
“Meeka Namar, Plague of the former planet Devka, presently colony of the Muren Empire. Age: sixteen, parents: sympathizers of Muren, sibling: deceased, age five—”
“Don’t you dare say his name!”
“You are convicted of mass murder, torture, and cannibalism. You have therefore been selected for our recovery plan. Congratulations! Deemed unfit for other methods of disposal you have been submitted specifically for displacement.”
My eyes narrow. “What do you mean by displacement?”
“It’d be such a waste to simply execute you, sweetie.” The nurse points to the IV supply. “This solution is going to erase all the naughty things you’ve done, along with your personality and…unusual skill-set.”
I smile tauntingly for a moment, making sure to show her every jagged, sharpened tooth. She stares at my teeth and shivers visibly, but smiles all the same. My face drops when it hits me—what she meant.
I pull against the restraints, the titanium bonds creaking and bending against my face. The nurse is already across the room when I get my right foot free. The room door opens and the guards swarm in. I break my right arm free as a guard jumps me. I scratch his face, leaving deep furrows with my black talons. Grabbing the collar of his uniform before he can run, I sink my teeth into his neck and rip his flesh, throwing him into the other guards.
A sharp pain hits my hand and I look down. A blue liquid flows from the supply into my IV. My body suddenly drops on the edge of the table
“Just count back from five, and you’ll be brand new. No parents…no more baby brother to mourn.”
Four. I make my hand into a fist. “I’ll kill you!” I scream at the screen.
Three. A hammer pounds in my head.
Two. “Kill me, but I won’t let you take him from me!”