I am proud to be the co-winner of the February Flash Fiction contest over at LitReactor. We had to write a story that was exactly 30 words about or inspired by Big Foot.
I thought it would be interesting to see the thought process that went into the story. My initial idea was to do the opposite of the usual Big Foot sighting tale. So I thought it would be interesting if Big Foot was the main character and he had sighted a human.
So I started with that idea and, since a common problem with micro-fiction stories is that they aren’t really “stories”, I really wanted to make sure it had a beginning middle and an end. I didn’t think about the 30 word constraint at first. I would just make it short and fix it from there.
My first version (41 words):
Every night I search, hoping to see it again. But it’s elusive and doesn’t show its pale pink face. So I lope back to my cave, lean my furry hide against the cold stone, and dream of something other than solitude.
I had to shorten it to get rid of 11 words, but I wanted to keep the four main points: The narrator is Big Foot, Big foot sees a human, wants to see it again but doesn’t, stays sad and lonesome.
Here is the final version (30 words):
Every night I hope it returns but I never see its pale pink face. So I lope to my lonely cave, lean my furry hide against cold stone, and dream.
In my opinion, the first version is best, but that’s the problem with artificially giving a story a limit. It’s an interesting tool to flex your writing brain, but it may not be what’s best for the story.