Tough Love

I didn’t read at the last crit group-flogging, but made up for it this time with two flash fiction pieces. I finally had the guts to try and combine some flash fic with a bit of fantasy. Did it work? Here’s what the group had to say.

Story #1, 100 words:

For the Win:

  • It was a “complete story.”
  • “Every word counts.”
  • Good “rhythm” to the sentences.
  • Plot/fantasy element was clearly understood, depending on the reader’s interpretation.
  • In a session where the nit of the day seemed to be repeated words, the fact that I purposely repeated one particular phrase still worked.


  • More than one reader wanted, well, more.
  • One reader noted the story title’s original connotation that has nothing to do with the story.
  • My last sentence needlessly made my usually-ambiguous ending even more ambiguous by being too long.

Story #2, 1000 words:
For the Win:

  • One reader immediately picked up on the meta-fiction aspect of the story!!
  • “Weird, but believable.”
  • Good “characterization” i.e. the way I played around with stereotypical epic fantasy adventure characters.
  • Same thing about “adventure cliches”
  • “Twisty phrases”
  • A “satisfying” (read: unambiguous) ending.


  • Definitely went a little overboard trying not to make my sentences Carver-esque. Some of the them were too long. One reader made a comment about the sentence-length being good for an exercise, but not necessarily for this particular story.
  • …which makes some of the good “twisty phrases” a little too twisty.

Okay, maybe that second story had a bit more of a fundamental Fail, but I’m just glad that for once, the Win columns are a bit longer than the Fail ones!

Still, this’ll probably be the last pieces I bring for the next few sessions. It’s a new subs period for quite a few mags, and now I’ve got a nice little pile of stories to revise and submit! Because there have been precious few scorecard entries this year, and that makes me sad.