Friday Fictioneers – Post-It

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

It wasn’t very good. The glue stuck, but came loose again. In frustration, Spencer slapped the test paper to his forehead and slumped. After five minutes, the paper fluttered to his desk.

Hal laughed, but not unkindly. “Not exactly the super-adhesive we’re after, is it, Spencer? Back to the drawing board, eh?”

Spencer smacked the paper against the wall. And it stuck again. Hmm: a low-tack, pressure-activated, reusable glue.

He had a solution. Now he just needed to find the problem.

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I’ve taken a leaf out of Rochelle’s book this week. For more on Spencer Silver, the inventor of the Post-It Note, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-it_Note,  Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

Friday Fictioneers – Smartarse

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

She was so seductively erudite, my skin prickled. The ferry pitched and buffeted through the waves as we sank deeper under each other’s spell.

The thing had begun leaning over the rail and watching the dolphins—I’d made a casual comment about the island to my neighbour. Of course, she knew its entire history. And everything about dolphins.

By the time we reached anthropology, I was in love.

“Are you interested in anthropology?” she asked, “I have 1.5 metres of anthropology on my bookshelf.”

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Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

Friday Fictioneers – The Slight

PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda

It was a slight—he recognised that. And this merited anger, even reprisal. 

The afternoon continued lazy—wind ruffling the grass like a stroked dog, the insects’ bass and the birds’ trill stitching a pattern into the dome of the sky.

Wrath filled his glass, and he drank. Was her offence sufficient for an hour’s rejection? Or a screeching, door-slamming walkout? In the drowse and the piercing sunshine, it felt hard to calibrate. A slick bead of sweat licked his chest.

He couldn’t afford to lose her. That much was certain. So, a bit of a sulk, probably, then flowers.

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Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

165. How to write sexual attraction

Writing sex is hard, as I said in a previous post, because the palette of actions is so limited. But writing attraction (the emotions and behaviours that precede sex) is easy because you have a wide range of choices, most of which allow you to fill out the reader’s sense of the character and push the plot forward.

  • Naïve or unreliable responses. Your character may be unaware of what is happening to her, though you can make the reader aware. Other characters may also clearly see the attraction, including jealous partners.
  • Fighting the attraction. Related to the first, your character may fight the sensations and thoughts that come with her attraction. She may deny or be disgusted by the attraction (attraction needn’t be experienced by a character as a positive thing).
  • Dangerous things threaten. Again, related to the point before, there may be strong plot consequences of the attraction that lead your characters to fight against it
  • Fast or slow. The attraction may be something that builds slowly during the course of the story or it may become a tension that threatens to  boil over.

So how do you write it?

Attraction manifests both physically and mentally:

  • Physical sensations may include a heightened awareness of the other person, including eyes lingering on them (especially on mouth and lips, as well as breasts and pecs, buttocks and bulges) and responses to their scent. There will also be a strong reaction to any physical contact. There will be wetness and erections. And, of course, the old standby of romantic fiction, the palpitating heart
  • Mental and emotional responses include day-dreaming about the other person, a sense of being intensely in the present when with the desired one (time stops), and bringing up the other person in conversation without any appropriate reason (obsession). Your characters may feel a sense of having always known each other. They may feel a sense of being perfectly matched. In the fighting the attraction scenario, there may also be anxiety or fear.

Here are some tricks:

  • Make the attraction immediate and powerful when the characters first meet.
  • Tease your reader. Vary the tension
  • Make the chemistry stronger each time the characters are together.
  • Use descriptive details (such as awareness of the texture of things touched) that show the character’s heightened awareness
  • You can have one or both characters deny and fight the attraction, especially where there are dangerous consequences.
  • The old romantic trope of something tearing the characters apart before consummation always works well.
  • Ensure your characters behave differently with each other than they do with other people

Friday Fictioneers – The Corner

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

There’s something about a corner. Anything might be round it—a second-hand shop with the perfect antique frock; a view all the way to the horizon; a man with strong arms and a dimple in his chin; anything.

Her steps accelerated as she approached. She was brave, and the world could be new again. With raised chin and lips parted, she breasted the bend, alert for fortune.

Just ahead, a familiar laugh—Henry leaning in to share a joke with some bitch. Why was he not hurting, too? She ducked into the coffee shop, not ready for corners after all.

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Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

Friday Fictioneers – The Lost Story

PHOTO PROMPT © Carole Erdman-Grant

It must have existed—maybe still did, in some dusty library. The analysis was fool-proof.

“The stats don’t lie,” Robin said. “In this quadrant of the graph, there’s a story where Galahad gets Guinevere and Arthur’s cool with it.”

Will saw words blooming—on the walls, hanging from trees, across the pavement—and scoffed. “Stats! An infinite number of monkeys, right?”

But Robin knew. From textual variance in the legends, he reconstructed scattered paragraphs of the lost story. He’d show Will the branching map of Arthurian myth.

But Will Scarlet had slipped out and was cuddling Marian on the porch.

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Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

Friday Fictioneers – Tessellation

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

“Should it look like that?” Mark shook as he pointed to the bank exposed by the melting snow.

I couldn’t see a problem, and told him so.

“It’s tessellated.”

Not knowing what the word meant, I nodded sagely, but the tremor in his voice worried me.

“Dirt should be crumbly,” he said. “Nor an array of parallelograms. That’s not natural. Someone, or something, wove it.”

Holding my hand up to placate him, a glance at my tessellated palm stalled me. Somewhere on the floodplains, marked out by those lifelines, tiny steamers plied the rivers. I plummeted into the weave.

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Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

Friday Fictioneers – I know

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

Thank you for that heel of bread—the first I’ve had in days. I have seen too much, and too little. Two kilometres up the road, there’s a checkpoint. What happens beyond that is a mystery. Maybe lovers walk the meadows, and cows graze the fields. Maybe there is only rubble, I don’t know. But I know what happened here. I could tell you stories. But I’d rather forget. I just want to feel something again.

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Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

Friday Fictioneers – Mutability

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Next to the shoe tree, the bush grew, and the story encoded in its DNA flowered. The newly fruited books hung heavy from the branches.

Daphne plucked one at random, opened it, and read.

“No,” she said, “Juliet is supposed to die.”

“Mutation,” Karl explained. “Random mistakes change the tale.”

For a long time, Daphne was silent. At last she said, “Then nothing is certain.”

Karl nodded. “But, in this universe, I love you.”

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Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

Friday Fictioneers – The Sight

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The stones were old, very old. Things had happened here. I laid my hand flat on a dressed block, and my palm tingled. The past spoke through me. There was smoke, and screams, and the clash of metal. A warrior king strode the battlements, looking out to sea, desperate to glimpse allied sails.

I possessed a gift.

Like anyone blessed with The Sight, I endured mockery.

My wife brandished the site guide. “Don, this was a granary, not a castle.”

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Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here