Sunday, February 16, 2014

Why Did We Heart the Box, Anyway?

Posted by: Jody W. and Meankitty
The past two days, we've posted the results of a writing prompt many Here Be Magic contributers worked on together to create flash fiction, or at least short fiction, about a heart-shaped box. Here's why we did it!

Danube Adele: "I loved the challenge of creating a new set of paranormal characters within a short time frame with a limit placed on number of words, which I think we all broke, but there you have it. It seemed like fun!"

Jody Wallace: "I talked everyone else into doing it, so I figured I'd better write a story, too."

Shona Husk: "I’d never written flash fiction before (or anything so short) so I thought it would be a fun challenge to do while I was stuck in edits on To Love a King. And it was!"

Nicole Luiken: "Short stories are not my forte, but once I heard the prompt heart-shaped box my mind started playing with the idea--and once I have an idea, it stands up on it hind legs, whines, and begs to be written."

Shawna Thomas: "Sometime short stories are the perfect creative outlet. The image for this story, the heart-shaped box, caught my imagination so I couldn't -not- write a story."

RL Naquin: "The talented authors at Here Be Magic are awesome, and missing the last group project with them made me sad."

Shawna Reppert: "For me, writing a flash story from a prompt is like coming home. My first fiction sale was to an e-zine, 10Flash Online, which had 10 flash stories per issue, all written around a prompt provided by the editor. I made several more flash sales to that ‘zine, and one to Everuday Fiction, which also specializes in flash. Although the novel is my preferred form, I do enjoy the challenge of writing flash fiction. With the tight word limit, the writer has to rely on subtext to develop the story and deliver the emotional impact. It’s a useful exercise.

This is the second Holmes flash piece I’ve done. ‘The Devil Went Down to Reichenbach’, unrelated to this story, is part of The Three Tunes, a set of three short stories around the power of music.

My first instinct when I saw the prompt ‘heart-shaped box’ was to write a story in the universe of my novel Ravensblood. But I couldn’t come up with an idea that would work as flash and didn’t contain spoilers for the novel, so I started to search for an idea for a story that would stand alone. It’s entirely too easy for a Valentine’s Day story to venture into the maudlin. I wanted to avoid saccharine sentimentality at all costs. So I turned to that paragon of rationality, Sherlock Holmes. . . and just the right touch of the softer emotions in a character not given to such things is like Godiva chocolate, bittersweet and rich, with a satisfying complexity."


Thank you for reading all our stories! We hope to revise and update them and publish and easy-to-download anthology in the next month or two.


The authors of Here Be Magic

1 comment:

  1. Oops, I forgot to send Jody my comment but I wrote a story for the series because I love the challenge of writing something that's totally removed from either my SFR universe or ancient Egypt...doing it on a deadline...and having to do it within a certain parameter of word count. always good to flex those creative muscles! Thanks to Jody for co-ordinating this for us all.


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