News | 2012 | Flashquake

Flashquake

I teach a Story Structure course at Capilano University, and I've got to admit, I'm rather fond of assigning homework. I believe one of the best ways for people to learn is by doing, so I ask my students to write between classes. However, I also believe in being fair, so every time I ask my students to complete an assignment, I do it, too (which I find is a great writing motivator for me). One of the assignments I like most involves crafting a complete story in 200 words or less -- something that has a beginning, a middle, and an end, has conflict, some complications, and a moment of choice for the main character (after which their life has irrevocably changed). Jamming all that into 200 words isn't necessarily easy, and so when a writer pulls it off, I make sure the rest of us are very generous with our applause.

"Giving Head to Kyle Leung," my (exactly) 200-word story appearing in the current issue of Flashquake was born from this exercise. It's the shortest complete story I've ever written, and I'm rather proud of it. The story is set at a party where the narrator is serving drinks, and opens when Kyle Leung, the hottest frosh at school, comes up to the bar. If you'd like to find out what happens, check out the current issue of Flashquake. There, you can either read the piece, or if you'd like, have me read it to you (Cindy Bell, the Publisher and Chief Editor of Flashquake, has included audio files of many of the contributors reading their own pieces).

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