A few months ago, a close friend had said this about me: “Give her any prompt and she dives right into it; writing in full flow.” At the time I had simply laughed and brushed it off.
But her words came to mind yesterday after I completed the first assignment at the Interactive Flash Fiction Workshop organized by Wrimo India, the India chapter of NaNoWriMo. Published author Rochelle Potkar was our instructor. We had been given a few preparatory assignments to complete ahead of the workshop. I, being the lazy bum, foolishly thought it was okay to ignore them and decided to wing it. Closer to the appointed time, however, fear gripped me. (Those who know me will know of my chronic problem of self-doubts.) What if nothing came to mind just then, I wondered. With just a few minutes left before the workshop, I hurried through the assignment. I jotted down the details quickly.
Name- Jayantika; Conflict- re-appearance of an ex-boyfriend. (none of this was used eventually 😀 )
Assignment done, I waited for the workshop to begin.
After a couple of lessons that involved reading and analyzing some excerpts, we were allotted 15 minutes to complete an exercise – write and submit for critique a 300-word story. I churned out the below piece titled ‘Rain and Rainbows’.
The positive feedback I received from the experts, as well as my co-participants (some of whom are experienced writers) encouraged and motivated me enough to tell Mr. Self-Doubts to go take a hike.
I also mustered up enough courage to share with you, their comments and the unedited version of my flash fiction piece.
What’s really special about this story is that the three paragraphs are inter-changeable. Go ahead, try it. Read it any way you want. Then share your feedback.
I do know I have yet a long way to go and a lot more scope for improvement still remains. For now, I am proud of this small achievement.
Here’s what the experts and my co-participants said –
Here’s the unedited piece.
Rain and Rainbows
Vyjanthi stood there, contemplating her options. Should she? Shouldn’t she? The rainbow colours were enticing her, the calorie count repelling. What was it that Divesh had said earlier today, about putting on weight? Just the recollection of that conversation made the decision for her. She stepped forward and unashamedly pointed at the display counter. “One rainbow cake slice, please.” She collected her dessert plate and headed to an empty table. She had slogged for the acquisition of the new client who was famously known to be a hard negotiator and the email received this morning was proof of her efforts and success. This was her little treat to herself. If Divesh wanted a wafer thin model for a wife, he could very well go and marry one. She would not conform to his unrealistic expectations of colour, weight and height. She was a woman, not a mannequin.
The loud ringing of her phone broke her out of her reverie. She fished it out of her pocket and stared at the screen. “Divesh calling…,” it flashed. “So?” thought Vyjanthi. After their last argument, she was in no mood to entertain his calls. He had been rude and insulting. She shouldn’t have been surprised actually. That’s how he had always been. How was now any different?
The dark clouds hovered above and in her mind. The strong breeze constantly hit the glass pane of small, sparse café. It could very well have been an imitation of her own state of mind. Her successes at work relieved only some of the fury in her mind. Unsuccessfully, she attempted to brush away all negative thoughts. But they had a mind of their own.
Have you ever written a flash fiction on the spur of the moment? What was your experience like? Do your feedback and stories via the comment box below.