Nov 3, 2021

2 min read

How-to: Overcoming a dry writing day

My own fiction challenge

Today’s been chock full of waiting and ADHD-related executive dysfunction. I don’t have much energy left to be swirling imaginary worlds around my mind’s dictionary. About all I can do is write this introduction with the fire I received from thinking up the idea.

So, on this hard day of writing, not-writing is not an answer. Yet, I don’t have much. So I make up a challenge just to see if I can do it. In the past, I used formal poetry, like sonnets and odes to do it for me. Today, with an eye on fiction, I’m issuing a challenge for myself: the three-sentence story. It should have:

  • Exposition, build-up, climax, falling action, conclusion.
  • Foreshadowing in the exposition
  • The power to create the desire to know more at the conclusion

So here it goes:

  • “After three months of looking for just one dragon horde,” Sir Determinon thought, “I still have to be brave and press on.” Taking several nearly-fatal whips to the chest that sent him flying across the lair, a series of well-timed rapier-thrusts to the monster’s heart brought rightful death to the beast. Collapsing against the fallen foe, Sir Determinon caught his breath enough to say aloud to nobody, “only twelve more.”
  • The Renners always looked forward to the end of the workday, when their dog Bobo would welcome them home with a wag and a shake and an ecstatic case of zoomies —though over the years it became more of a slight wiggle of the tail and a belabored hoisting-up. Today was Bobo’s day. They laid him to rest under the live oak with a nasty tennis ball, a tennis ball that Bobo believed belonged by the front door each morning since.
  • A half-eaten sandwich lies on the countertop without a plate when the phone call came from the lawyer: “His attorney is asking for your new address to send the papers for divorce court, but should I give him the PO Box instead?” “No, have that lying bastard send it to your office and agree to him keeping what’s left. I’ve already got everything I could ever want out of it.”

@prestonlosack on Instagram.