Writing Someone Else’s Story

Breach Loaded Shotgun with ShellsI am once again attempting to put a short story together for one of Chuck Wendig’s weekly flash fiction contests. This week’s contest is about guns and crime. Which is a nice fit for me. I can certainly get up to some fun with guns, murder, crime and a nice macguffin. And the 1,000 word limit adds a nice spin on things. It’s like creating an amuse-bouche with words (props to me for fitting the words “macguffin” and “amuse-bouche” into one paragraph).

There’s also a certain thrill that comes with writing someone else’s story. It’s strange, coming up with my own fiction is such a difficult process to track that it’s hard for me to say where most of my ideas come from. And at times is seems like what I really do is come up with one or two strong ideas, scenes, lines, characters, just whiffs of them mind you, and then flesh out everything else that’s attached in order to find the story surrounding them.

In these flash fiction challenges, though, one or two of the ideas are already there. They don’t arrive in my brain spontaneously like normal, they are sitting right there on Chuck Wendig’s page for me to approach from afar and study. It’s like playing with someone else’s set of LEGO’s. I mean, I know I have tons of those blue blocks and rubber wheels and jungle material, but I poke around in someone else’s collection and there’s all these new pieces to try and figure out. Where does that airplane wing fit? What are these tiny white one’s for?

Not that guns and crime don’t exist in my personal LEGO set of fiction, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, I should probably get back to my shotgun and bank robbery.

It needs to be done by Friday after all.