Where Readers & Writers Connect
We have chosen the winner in this month’s contest and wanted to share how we arrived at our decision. In general, flash fiction needs to have a beginning, middle, and end. In other words, a story that can stand alone, not just a slice of a larger piece of work leaving readers puzzled as to what the story is about. Distinct characters that engage us, language beyond prosaic, and the unexpected are other things we look for.
“The Watcher” by Kristin Rix definitely had some spooky elements. Who or what left the scratches? The writing itself was elegant. Unfortunately, the ending left us dissatisfied. Who was this woman? Why was she doing this? Otherwise, this was very well written and had that scare quality we were looking for this month.
“In the Kappa’s Garden” by Jeff Chapman was another story with great prose giving us a clear view of this story world. One thing was missing–we needed to know more about the central conflict at the beginning, more about Jimmy . For instance, we could have learned he had trespassed into Mr. Yamokama’s yard before. And, we believe it would have been better to show the mother more frantic in her calls. Overall, a good story!
“The Witch’s Garden” by J.D. Shaw: Right away, we’re given the mystery–what is the “pile of dirt”? We loved the line “Secrets are hungry too, you know. They consume.” And, then, the twist at the end. She’s not a good witch after all. However, attribution is not done correctly and that interrupts the flow. Still, a great story!
And the winner:
“The Call from Below” by Carin Marais: This story started out with the conflict–“young girls got lost out here.” Great start! Also, the character was relatable. And, the mysterious Johanna had us wondering if she was the perpetrator leaving us surprised at the end. This one gave us all those things we look for. Excellent story, Carin!
Carin will receive a $20 gift certificate from Amazon.
Don’t forget our contest for next month–“Best Blurb.” This can be for a published or unpublished work. We would love to see the blurbs from your NaNo project!
See In Celebration of NaNo for more details!