Last week, a fellow blogger and educator, Norah Colvin, commented on a post I had written about the “spotlight effect“, suggesting that “a story based on this would be perfect for the ‘rock star’ prompt at the Flash Fiction Challenge at Carrot Ranch this week.”
I wasn’t familiar with Flash Fiction or Carrot Ranch, but I always like a good challenge, so I thought I’d take a look and see what it is all about.
Here is how Norah has defined flash fiction:
Flash fiction is a form of short writing. In its various forms, it may be known as, for example, micro fiction, sudden fiction, or six-word stories; the length may vary from as few as six to as many as 1,000 words. Brevity is a constraint, and writers attempt to pack as much story as they can into few words. Each word must count. There is no room for ‘darlings’, let alone a need for them to be killed.”
As a writing prompt, flash fiction gives the brain a problem to be solved: Write a story in 99 words, no more, no less. When writers repeat the challenge regularly, flash fiction trains brains to resolve the 99-word problem. It’s like magic; but really it’s science (from the book Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less and Achieve More Than Your Imagined by Scott Sonenshein). Creativity opens when the writing prompt becomes a habit.
And as to Carrot Ranch, here’s a blurb from its web site: Carrot Ranch is a dynamic online literary community for those practicing craft, reading stories and discussing process. Charli Mills is the lead buckaroo who hosts challenges, guest blogs, and an annual multi-contest called the Flash Fiction Rodeo.
So, similar to the six-word stories I’ve written about before, I thought it would be something fun and educational to try.
So here it is, my 99-word story based on the prompt “rock star”:
Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.
Just because you’re not a rock star, it doesn’t mean that people aren’t paying attention to you.
Just because some psychologist came up with the idea of the spotlight effect, it doesn’t mean that people aren’t watching everything you do.
Because you are a dad.
In their eyes, you are a rock star.
And they are watching everything you do,
And hanging on every word you say.
And you will always be in the spotlight.
Because you are a dad.
And that’s better than being a rock star.
image from zazzle