"I sit down to a blank page and see my oldest friend. Some days I write something decent. Some days I suck. Whatever. It’s not like I won’t be back tomorrow."
~ Sera Gamble

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Friday Fictioneers - "Vertigo"

I've been inspired by Madison Woods Blog, particularly her weekly "Friday Fictioneers" Flash Fiction challenge.  So I thought I'd have a go!  (Here's hoping I get this right!).  The challenge is to write a 100 word (give or take) piece of flash fiction inspired by her photo prompt.  I post a link to Madison's story here, and post my story here.

(I would love to receive some constructive criticism on this, I am striving to improve my skills!).
The ship shudders as another explosion rips through it.
“Oh God, oh God, oh God” Jade mutters over and over again, the tears in her eyes blurring the vision of the console she so desperately clings to.
“Abandon Ship! Abandon Ship!” orders the tall burly Captain, grabbing a large pulse rifle and hurriedly punching keys on the wall.
“But Captain, the radiation! We’ll have to suit up!” she cries in disbelief.
“There‘s no time!” yells the Captain. As the doors hiss open, he scoops her tiny frame up in one sturdy arm and whisks her through the doors and out into the unknown.


  1. I like that! And love your sketch :) There wasn't anything to critique imo. Some references say to not use dialogue tags other than 'he said' or 'she said', but your 'Jade mutters over and over' seems to work well to me.

    (If you can get rid of the Captcha codes and make anonymous comments possible, you'll get more feedback from Wordpress users. For some reason Blogger and WP do not get along well when it comes to commenting. I have a Blogger account I use when commenting on Blogger blogs.)

  2. Thank you, Madison! The sketch is one I did a while ago, but it seemed right for this story! I agree with the use of dialogue tags, 'he said' and 'she said' do tend to be invisible, but using descriptive dialogue tags can convey more meaning. I think it's just trying not to overuse them!

    One thing I do struggle with is writing in either past tense or present tense, so I end up writing it half in present and half in past, and end up having to go back through and correct it! Is there any particular tense that's best to use? I tried to get across a sense of immediacy and urgency, so thought the present tense might help with that?

    (I have removed the Captcha codes and made comments available from Anyone, so hopefully that should make comment posting much easier! I still moderate all comments, so should be able to catch the spam still! Thanks so much for your advice!)

  3. Very intriguing! I also love the sketch. Welcome to FF too!

  4. I thought that this was very good. It had the right urgency about it and was well-written.

    If I may comment on the "He says", "She says" (or "said") thing, I personally believe that it makes for very dull reading and was originally concocted for journalists quoting people in their articles, where there could be a good case for using only these, as they are neutral. However, creative writing is supposed to be "creative". We are supposed to be painting things with words. As in all creative Art, there are no rules. There are only tried and tested things that work, and some that don't, and it's good to be able to distinguish between the two but, apart from that, do your own thing!

  5. flyoverhere - Thank you so much!

    Marilyn - Thank you. And please do feel free to comment on the "he says" "she says" thing, I am keen for any help and advice to improve my writing. I love the idea of being able to try things out and see what works, as there are no rules. I often forget that creative writing is a form of the Arts. I remember reading a novel when I was younger, The Complete Borrowers by Mary Norton, and I always thought it was beautifully written, everything was so vividly written you could really picture it. And she did use many colourful dialogue tags, such as "he sputtered," "she cried out indignantly." I think it can give you an idea of the character and the manner in which they are saying something. For example:

    "Ouch." he muttered.

    "Ouch." he moaned

    "Ouch!" he yelled in surprise.

    "Ouch." he said.

    All give completley different meanings and mannerisms. It's fun to play around with them!

    1. While we're on the subject, there's some newfangled thing now that decrees that you shouldn't use adverbs because they weigh down the narrative. I suspect that this was dreamed up by an American who can't distinguish between adjectives and adverbs and decided to preach the demise of the one that gives him (or her) the most trouble. I may be old and irritable now, but constantly hearing American voices on television mistakenly, and continually, using adjectives instead of adverbs is not improving my disposition.

      "How are you?"

      "I'm good!"

      Arrrgh! I won't quote any more. I'm already feeling ill.

  6. Marilyn - Oh dear, it’s been a long time since I’ve been at school, I did get a 'B' in my English language, so you'd think I would remember my adjectives, verbs, etc. Let’s see if I can remember…

    Adjective I recall being a word describing what something is like:

    The cake is delicious. (Adjective = delicious)

    The Adverb I’m not so familiar with, but I’ll try…

    The cake went down deliciously. (Adverb = deliciously).

    Is that correct? Or perhaps an example of an incorrect use of an adverb? I am so rusty on my English Language! It feels forever ago when I was learning it!

    1. Quite correct. Adjectives qualify nouns (or names of things) and adverbs modify verbs (or "action" words). Calling them the right thing isn't important. The important thing is to USE them correctly. You already do that, so don't worry about it.


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