Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Shared Storytelling: Six Birds

Striking images often prove to be great seeds for stories, arresting images that can flower into plots and characters and themes with just a little coaxing. Recently, regular ISLF commenter B. Nagel emailed me with one such image he'd encountered in real life:
When I got to the back of the library yesterday to open up, there were six or so little dead birds ranged along the base of the wall. Not evenly spaced or staged, but looking like they all took a concrete dive from three stories up. They were grayish-brown with bright yellow tips to their tail feathers. Got my wheels turning. Pathogen? Weaponized disease? Malevolent spirit? Disturbed kid with a BB gun?
It got mine turning, too, not only with writing ideas, but also with the thought of what a great round of Shared Storytelling it could foment. Spring is in the air, and not all the birds are singing. In the spirit of Advent Ghosts 2009, let B. and I issue the invitation: Come, pick up your pen, and join us in telling a story.

The rules, you ask? Ah, well, those are quite simple ...

1.) Email both of us at ISawLightningFall [at] gmail [dot] com and BNagelBlog [at] gmail [dot] com to let us know you're interested.
2.) Write a piece of flash fiction up to 1,000 words in length that either incorporates or is inspired by B.'s account of the six birds.
3.) Post it to your blog on April 10 and email us the direct link.

As before, don't be deterred if you don't have a blog. Just let us know, and we'll arrange to post your story directly.

(Picture: CC 2005 by
It'sGreg)

14 comments:

Lady Glamis said...

Oh my goodness, this is awesome! I'm excited to get something written for it. Thanks for the invite!

Loren Eaton said...

Glad to have you onboard, madam!

Davin Malasarn said...

I'd love to be a part of this, Loren. Thanks for letting me know about it. That's an exquisite image, and I've been in a short story/flash fiction writing mood lately. I might have some issues with a blog space, but I've been thinking about opening a casual one for my writing anyway.

Loren Eaton said...

Stupendous, Davin! Can't wait to see what you cook up.

scott g.f.bailey said...

Loren, I think this is a fabulous idea. I'll try to play as well!

Loren Eaton said...

Awesome! I'm stoked that all three of you are interested!

Lady Glamis said...

And Loren, I just finished my first draft of it this afternoon!

Loren Eaton said...

You are so much further along than I am. I've got an idea and plotline, but I've been laboring through this one particular project that feels like my personal Vietnam.

annerallen said...

Amazing image. I'll have to see if a plot comes to me. Lady G--I'm in awe--a first draft already!

Loren Eaton said...

Yeah, that's a neat picture, isn't it? Amazing the stuff you can find on Flickr.

I, too, am rather amazed by the speed in which some folks have finished their drafts. Most impressive.

Lady Glamis said...

It's flash fiction and under 1,000 words and I was house-sitting at my parents bored out of my mind - so writing a draft that quickly wasn't too difficult. :)

Loren Eaton said...

Qualifications, schmalifications -- I'm still impressed!

ollwen said...

Was there a particular deadline on this?

Loren Eaton said...

April 10, sir! You've got plenty (two weeks' worth) of time.