Microfiction to Fiction, Part 4 – Conclusion

by Bill Henderson

The House in Flames

...I got a full dose of it before I left. You wouldn’t think a rickety old Victorian could burn like that, but it was throwing up fireballs like a dying planet.

The past few posts have been about how “Driving Shades” grew from 100 words to 9,000, in a few easy steps. Except, of course, they’re more than a few, and none of them were easy.

The fact is, very little in fiction is achieved without a struggle, since, once you’ve told it, the struggle is only beginning. Telling is not what fiction is primarily about. It’s only your ground floor. Now you have to show. Contrast this with writing a newspaper report––or a blog post like this, for that matter. Once you’ve told it, your job is done.

Would I recommend this a way to begin a new story? Not really. I would’ve had more to work with if I’d pulled something from the local section of my daily paper. Still, I’m glad I did it, and if I could go back in time, I would do it again.

Originally, I posted “Driving Shades” in 4 parts, to accompany the “Microfiction to Fiction” posts, of which this is the last. You can now read a much more advanced draft of the complete story here.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rebekah January 11, 2012 at 5:57 am

This story was just achingly, hauntingly beautiful. Better, I think, because of the simple style of narration. I’m not a minimalist, but his voice rang true, and I think that’s the goal regardless of what style you’re attempting to use.

This piece of fiction proves that a story is never about what it’s about.

Well done.

2 Bill Henderson January 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Thanks, Rebekah. You really got exactly what I was trying for. I must say, it’s gratifying to get a comment like this. I’m going to make one more pass at it, just a polish, then post the whole thing on a “New Fiction” page I’m starting, either here or on my personal blog 1writerslife.com. I haven’t decided which yet.

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