Vanilla Ice Cream: A Flash Fiction Story

Today I thought I’d share an original Flash Fiction Story I wrote. I hope you will enjoy it.

Photo by Kyle Hinkson on Unsplash

Here he came again—blond hair and blue eyes. He walked with a confident gait, but his smile was always shy. Becky wondered if he had a girlfriend. He came into the creamery once a week. Always alone. Always perused the menu, then ordered vanilla—Every. Single. Time.

Becky watched as he stood back and stared up at the large board of thirty flavor choices. He cupped his chin in the thumb and index finger of his right fist. After a minute or two, he stepped forward. Becky smiled and said, “What can I get you?”

He looked into her eyes, then dropped his gaze and said, “I’d like a waffle cone with two scoops of vanilla. Do you ever have vanilla bean?”

Becky choked back a laugh and cleared her throat. Vanilla bean? Was he serious?

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Dialogue Tags vs. Action Beats

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

“I’m so glad you finally accepted my invitation to join me for coffee,” said Jason.

Karen said, “I figured if you’re so persistent, I should, at least, take the time to see if we have anything in common.”

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

When Tony paused his reading, he looked at Miranda, a smile on his face as he waited for her response.

Miranda leaned toward Tony. “That’s a beautiful love sonnet. You really feel it expresses your feelings for me?”

Tony reached to take her hand in his, still smiling, and nodded.

The dialogue under the first photo uses “dialogue tags”. The dialogue under the second photo uses “action beats”.

Today I’d like to look at the progress of today’s story writing and how it has come a long way in engaging the reader and making them a part of the story instead of just being a spectator.

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Why are Beta Readers, Regular Readers, and Book Reviews so Important?

Photo by Alexandra Fuller on Unsplash

Before addressing people who read books for information, inspiration, or entertainment, I want to address the difference between Beta Readers and Editors. There used to be a clear definition and description between the two, but somewhere along the way, the lines became blurred. This has become quite a frustration to both Beta Readers and Editors.

Why? Because Beta Readers are not editors. They are not skilled writers who are necessarily knowledgeable about the technical/mechanical aspects of writing. Beta Readers are simply regular readers who love to read, and though they may have some knowledge of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and the rest of the technical/mechanical aspects of a story, many do not, and they aren’t interested in trying to find those errors for the writer and report them to the writer.

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How Does One Write Well – Part 2

Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

In the first part of this article, previously posted here, I mostly addressed why a Christian writer should write well, though I also touched on some ways we can do that. In this article, I will address more ways in which we actually can write well.

In the first article, I mentioned learning. What do we need to learn? Every writer should have a fairly good knowledge of the basics of writing: spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and how to know when to begin and end a paragraph. Every writer should also know how to properly write dialogue. These are the mechanics of writing, and if you find any of these items difficult, you can still be a good writer. How? You will need to hire an editor. I will address editors more in depth later in this article.

What do writers need to know, in addition to the technical or mechanical aspects of writing? Writers need to know how to tell a story: how to choose the best words to write descriptions, action, dialogue, conflict; how to create deep characters that readers can relate to and how to give these characters strengths and weaknesses, as well as showing character growth in the main characters from the beginning of the story to the end of the story; and above all, how to weave the story together in a way that will grip the reader’s attention from the very first sentence until the very last sentence of the novel.

That all sounds like a tall order, and it is. If you are a writer, you, most likely, are also a reader, or, at least, you should be. Reading books is one way to learn how to write a good book. Reading books should also show you what not to do as a writer. I’m sure all readers have read at least one poorly written book in their reading time: a book that had lots of grammatical errors or had parts where the reader became bored or confused, or the book rushed the ending leaving the reader feeling as though some important information or action was missing, or names of characters or places were written differently in sections of the book—either changing the names or the spelling of the names, or a change in the description of a main character. Maybe the ending left the reader hanging and there is no sequel; the book is supposed to be a stand-alone.

There are many things that can pull a reader out of the story or disappoint a reader.

As a writer, do you know that you make a promise to your reader with every book you write, no matter what genre you write?

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Word Painting

Photo by Ben Wilkins on Unsplash

Hello, This post was written by Patrick Lauser who is doing some traveling right now and had problems with computer connections, so I am posting this for him.

I’ve thought for some time about an idea I like to think of as “word painting”: the idea of just having description, with story only occurring as a part of the description rather than the other way around. The idea of description is to paint a picture after all (or perhaps a map or diagram or what have you).

It would be a good exercise, yes, but also a finished product, a goal. You wouldn’t necessarily be able to take it in in a glance like a painting (made with paint), but it would have its own advantages over other mediums.

In a way people already do this: in the house we’re staying in they have decorations (the like of which I’ve seen before) which are words like “love” and “relax”, and they have duvets with writing all over them like “new day, new start” and “life is better in pyjamas”, and abstract artists will include words in pictures as part of the art. But I wonder what it would be like to hang something like this on the wall:

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