Forging ahead with fictional endeavours: ~ Write a life on a page and hurry not to its grave; abhor not the coming age, for eternal is the next page. ~ Read what you will, I hope you will enjoy reading as much as I do writing.

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Writing challengers, I’m Baack! (Okay, little hyper right now, please forgive me.) It’s a while since my last attempt at a challenge so I thought I would start off with Friday Fictioneers, a personal favourite, courtesy of Rochelle. The photo prompt provided is copyright to Jean Hays, for reference, and the word limit is 100 words. Perfect practise for concise, targeted writing. Actually wish I had started these challenges before my degree; would have helped so much with the assignments. Okay tangent over, on with the post: The Blackout.

Illinois, USA. Stacey stared at the sign. “What. The. Hell?”
Stacey paced, wide berth given despite the noon crush.
“Pockets… …!” Passport… Flight ticket?! Stacey held the last item up. “The hell?”
…I should check my phone!
No carrier… Ah! Latest text! Mum: Pull the other one, it has bells on! Eloping?!

… …
! I eloped?!
She strained to remember the day before. “So. Much. Alcohol.” Stacey shuddered.
“Stace, you okay?” Stacey iced up as a hand landed on her shoulder. She spun around to see… Her younger brother’s best friend, Ryan. “Well, at least I nabbed someone cute,” she remarked numbly. Nice; he should blush more often.

As you can probably tell I was experimenting with punctuation use here. It was fun.

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Comments on: "The blackout – Friday fictioneers" (37)

  1. It reads like fun too! I had to read it a couple of times and pay attention to what was speech and what was thought, but the speed of it was great.

    • Ah, I had a dilemma with that point. Italics would have made it easier to establish which were her thoughts but it felt like it detracted from the sense of confusion in the scene. I guess confusing the reader isn’t ideal either.

      Thanks though. πŸ™‚

  2. I’d say your experiment worked out rather well. It was certainly engaging to read.

  3. !A great bit of fun. Hope it works out for them!!

  4. What a great premise and one of the few places I’ve felt that one of my least favorite types of punctuation really. did. work! I think in the second sentence I’d use “She” instead of “Stacey”, as her name is in both the preceding and following sentences. As for spacing, perhaps you could use space itself to slow things down or separate as in this part. (But it might only be that I read it that way and you had different pacing/spacing in mind.

    She strained to remember the day before. β€œSo. Much. Alcohol.” Stacey shuddered

    β€œStace, you okay?” Stacey iced up as a hand landed on her shoulder. She spun around to see… Her younger brother’s best friend, Ryan.

    β€œWell, at least I nabbed someone cute,” she remarked numbly. Nice; he should blush more often.

    (Or just space between the first line and the rest. Only my thoughts, mind you.)

    janet

    • Normally I would stamp my feet like a two yr old in a tantrum before I used a lot of the grammar I played with here. Spacing wise, I was trying to match the characters thoughts; which by that point would racing. But I see what you mean with “she” instead of Stacey. πŸ™‚

      • I know what you mean. I’d be stamping right along with you. But the grammar worked. I understand the idea of the thoughts racing and your spacing, or lack of, conveyed that. I felt the same sense of frustration I feel at too many things I see written or hear said…and that’s what you were showing. πŸ™‚

  5. Yep! Alcohol will do those kind of things. LOL! How horrifying! Enjoyed reading it!!

  6. As @LisaDunn will know, I love the blanked out mindset the ellipses suggest… waiting….waiting… A-ha! And The. Emphatic. Period. More creative punctuation, please. You have the knack. The “bells on” idiom flew over my head though.

    • Thanks. I guess I should explain that idiom – it’s an Australianism used when you think someone trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Her could not believe she had elope – it could only be a prank. Not sure from what the saying originated from though.

  7. Enjoyed it a lot.. Need to play more with punctuation,

  8. Very entertaining. Her bewilderment and shock are evident- your punctuation and setting out achieve that. She’s rather casual about her new marital status, but I’m wondering what little brother’s going to think about the whole deal.

  9. Ah, the morning after the the night before… πŸ™‚

  10. I loved everything about it, except the punctuation. Interesting experiment though. I guess I’m never going to get my head round a plethora of exclamation marks though I’m quite partial to an explosion of ellipses. Great idea.

    • It may be just me, but I think punctuation is underrated as a method of empathise in storytelling. But it’s a difficult one because you can’t be too stuck on correct usage to pull it off. It’s also style that’s misused by amateur writers. I cringe when I see !!!!!!!!!!!!!! There’s a point where it’s gone over the top.

  11. Good story, but the puctuation was a distraction. And it’s ‘wide berth’ not ‘birth’ πŸ™‚

    • Ack, you’re right! Now, my spelling isn’t great but that’s an obvious one. As for that punctuation… Well I’m never going to win everyone over on that count. πŸ™‚ I just wanted to see how expressive I could make it without the use of words. There’s bound to be people who will find it detracts from the storytelling, rather than adding to it. Though, I felt the punctuation fitted the image I had of my character.

  12. Experiments are grand! I’m glad you gave this a try. Alicia

  13. Good story. I actually had to read it twice to fully understant what was going on. I hope it works out for them. Well done. πŸ™‚ — Suzanne

  14. I love experimenting….this totally brought to mind the hangover over movie with that beginning part.

  15. Because of getting lost in the plethora of punctuation, I skipped this story several times. But, it kept popping up, so I finally read it. The story was fun, interesting, entertaining and had a message. Now, I believe, you have an important decision to make. Do you want to tell a word story? Or is it a punctuation story you wish to tell?

    • Hi Judith, I knew that the punctuation was going to put people off. πŸ™‚ ‘The Blackout’ seems to have become one of my more popular flash fics, though I can only guess why. As too your questions – my writing style is currently undergoing an evolution. I want to write in a way that is vivid and compelling. If I can stretch punctuation to achieve that I will; but I also want to use words effectively. My most recent piece also used different font sizes to support the story. My writing style is becoming very visual – I want the prose to leap off the page. πŸ™‚

  16. I think that would be my #1 on my Not What to Do Bucket List. πŸ˜€

    • Not get married at all is pretty high on mine. But you know the saying- you only live once. I swear I write reckless characters because I am complete incapable of being reckless.

      • LOL! You do all your reckless behavior through your characters. Good idea! I think marriage is a good thing and works, but both need to sit down and really communicate before they tie the knot. Then, after the knot is tied, they need to be ‘the’ best of friends and communicate well with each other.

      • There were more reason then I knew but I think that’s part of why my ex is my ex I think. He refused to/was incapable of talk, and I became afraid too as a result. :/ But yes, living vicariously through characters is much less dangerous than doing it in real life.

      • Yes and there something even better about it. You can actually practice through your characters and have the “wisdom” to get it right when it happens and you get married.

      • That’s it. Though this one isn’t quite practise. I’m actually incapable of losing control with alcohol. Not that I regret that.

      • How do you know this?

      • …Excessive drinking in college πŸ˜€ We’d be drinking into the wee hours; often doing shots. Invariably they would all start doing whacked out things, and I’d be sensible enough not to join them; to their annoyance I could also tell them exactly what they had been up too because my memory isn’t affected either.

      • LOL! You’re the person they don’t want to be with them when they drink because you can tell them about their stupidities! Haha!

      • Exactly! They are lucky they didn’t get filmed on several occassions.

      • They would have then really hated you! lol

      • Ah, they knew what a stirrer I was so they wouldn’t have put it past me. I think they were more shocked I didn’t.

      • They were probably relieved that you didn’t.

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