Five Sentence Fiction – Delicate

Delicate

She was all piss and vinegar, the runt. Like a Chihuahua facing down a Great Dane, Maggie found the fights. She laughed, later, at how the big guys always backed down. Cowards.

She couldn’t have been more than 90 pounds when I carried her body off the field that day.

**************

Author’s Notes

This week’s Five Sentence Fiction entry – I think it works. It sets up something, doesn’t linger on it, and really takes a chance with that one word sentence, which is pretty damned bold in a five sentence fiction story. I really wanted to stick with the easy stuff – flowers, femininity, delicate things like spider webs or emotions.

Then I kicked myself in the ass and said, “That just won’t do, now will it? NO.” And then I had an idea that the girl is a firecracker that ends up believing in her own mystique, and succumbs to it. But I wanted to express that in the five sentences. Along with the one-word sentence extra challenge I gave myself.

Another challenge I give myself every time is to avoid the trap of run-on sentences. Yes, five sentences to convey a coherent thought is tough. Have you seen Five Second Films? That’s even tougher. But don’t fall prey to run-on sentences in your five sentence fiction. Instead, delete half your words. Then delete half again. Then get out the scalpel and pare down the last few.

Discussions

  1. matt

    Nice. Liked the twist.

  2. Lisa Shambrook

    Stunning, and said everything!
    (I went for the elongated, emotionally charged sentences this time, maybe I’ll do kick-ass next week! lol)
    Loved this!

  3. Miranda Kate

    I really liked it, really could see her, but the punctuation stilted it for me – the comma’s around ‘later’ didn’t work for me, definitely not the first one. And after ‘vinegar’ a dash would have worked better for me. But the one word sentence worked, it moved well, great place and flow!

    • Steve Husted

      http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/02/

      “Use a pair of commas in the middle of a sentence to set off clauses, phrases, and words that are not essential to the meaning of the sentence.”

      I re-read what I wrote and I thought about it, did some Grammar Girl and other searches, and while I agree that the usage could be read in a stilted manner, I think my comma usage is correct.

      Perhaps this is one of those times where correct usage just sounds awkward.

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