It’s Wednesday, aka Hump Day, and time for another awesome Crime Cafe guest post and book giveaway. Or, in this case books giveaway, since the winner gets more than one book. It’s a whole shitload package of books! 🙂
Yes, guest blogger Paul Brazill is giving away a whole bunch o’ books to one lucky winner! Five — count ’em! — five Kindle books! And all you need to do to enter the giveaway contest is leave a comment here on this blog! Please leave your comment by 5 p.m. (EST) on February 21!
Anyone can leave a comment, unless you’re a spammer. If you are (a spammer, that is), please don’t bother, okay? BTW, just a note of caution. One or more of Paul’s flash fiction examples might result in a spit-take. I’d avoid hot beverages while reading this!
In any case and without further ado, here’s Paul Brazill’s guest post!
KISS – Keep it simple. Keep it short
by Paul D. Brazill
I think I’ve always liked singles more than LPs. Preferred the short, sharp burst of a 45 rpm vinyl to 33 and 1/3 rpm of a few decent tunes padded out with fillers. And maybe that’s why I was drawn to flash fiction.
I started off my crime writing ‘career’ submitting yarns to the late lamented Six Sentences website – short stories in just six sentences. Indeed, my first writing to appear in print was in the 6S volume 2 anthology.
Here’s an example:
A Cold Day in Helsinki
The January night had long since waned when Mika blasted Aki’s brains over the snow covered street, producing a more than passable Rorschach test. A murder of crows sliced through the whiteness as the purr of the passing motorcycle grew to a roar, masking the sound of the shotgun. When day eventually melted into night, the moon hung fat and gibbous, the bloodstains now black in the moonlight. Mika draped Aki’s cold, dead skin over his own pallid flesh as, shivering, he breathed in the scent of cheap aftershave, cigarettes and booze. Sour memories trampled over his thoughts with bloodstained feet. Together forever he rasped, as tears filled his bloodshot eyes.
Snap, Crackle & Pop!
Snap went Larry’s index finger when Mo bent it back. Crackle went the cigar that Mo slammed into Larry’s face. Pop went the pistol that Mo shoved under Larry’s chin. Snap went the paparazzi when Mo was led into court. Crackle went the electric chair when Mo was sent to meet his maker. Pop went the champagne cork in Curly and Shemp’s hotel room.
And I’ve also enjoyed writing a few other forms of flash and micro fiction too, such as 6word stories a la Ernest Hemingway.
Blah blah. Bang bang. Ha ha.
Or there are stories limited to fifty words for magazines such as Blink Ink.
Old Town, midnight.
The moonlight oozed across the dank cobblestones like quicksilver; creeping between the cracks, crawling into the gutters. Howls sliced the silence. Lara shivered, pulling the fur close to her flesh. Each heartbeat was like the tick of a clock. As the limousine growled into view, heavy footsteps shuffled closer.
And flash fiction in 100 words, which is known as Drabble.
Elvis awoke in a cold, dank sweat, hungover from bourbon and bad dreams. The nightmares had consisted of him being hunted through a swamp by the murderous spectre of Jesse, his stillborn twin. His pounding heartbeat seemed to echo through the mansion. He stumbled into the bathroom, splashed cold water on his face and looked in the mirror, only to be confronted by his own ashen reflection and that of his grinning doppelganger. Jesse tightly wrapped the umbilical cord around Elvis’ throat and pulled it until Elvis breathed no more. The king is dead, long live the king, he muttered.
Indeed, if you feel the urge to take the plunge into writing but just want to test the water, there are plenty of flash fiction sites online. Spelk Fiction, for example,’ limit you to 500 words and Shotgun Honey have a 700 word limit. And it’s a great way for more experienced writers to practice disciplining their writing.
So why not get flashing!
Bio: Paul D. Brazill‘s books include Too Many Crooks, Guns Of Brixton, and Kill Me Quick! He was born in England and lives in Poland. His writing has been translated into Italian, Finnish, German and Slovene. He has had writing published in various magazines and anthologies, including three editions of The Mammoth Books of Best British Crime. His blog is here.