Another Wednesday, another writing challenge. Once again (maybe because it’s fun and maybe because I’m a little bit lazy), I’ve combined two writing challenges. It was a wee bit trickier for me this time because I blended Cafe Muravyets 50-word story challenge with the Inspiration Monday challenge over at Be Kind Rewrite. 50-words doesn’t leave a lot of room to maneuver, but I finally found came up with a story that worked. Here you are…
I Used to be Someone Else
The world is dying, but at The Sandbar (Happy Hour Specials! Karaoke Nightly!) drinks are half price. I order an Onerous Maneuver from one-eyed Wink, who never smiles.
Screaming. Snarling. The window breaks.
I used to be someone else. That doesn’t matter now. I drink fast and grab my machete.
Ordinarily, I’d end the post right here but today I thought I’d share this story’s evolution since (as is often the case) it started out in a completely different place and the result surprised me. I haven’t included all the story attempts I made, only the ones that best illustrate the changes. The following drafts have only been edited for spelling and are otherwise in their rough, naked glory.
I make the onerous nightly trek to the Sandbar where the customers wink and I must maneuver away from their
grabbing hands. I serve them drinks and dream of home.
Too few words and not a strong enough connection to “I used to be someone else.”
I see him nightly at the Sandbar. He orders an onerous maneuver. I wonder what it tastes like. I wait for him to turn and smile but he only ever stares into his drink. I see the pretty bartender wink as she serves him the drink but he doesn’t look up. She shrugs and walks away. When he is finished, he’ll pay for his drink and walk home. I will follow. It is a nightly dance for the two of us. Maybe he knows I’m there and maybe this is all a dream.
Way too many words and still not a strong enough connection to “I used to be someone else.”
I play around with wording for several attempts but I’m still not satisfied with the idea. I think I need to rethink it almost entirely.
Attempt 15 (yep…15..really)
I order an onerous maneuver, the nightly special, from a bartender named Wink at The Sandbar. He doesn’t smile. Only waits for me to pay. It feels like I’ve done this before but I can’t remember.
It’s not finished, but I feel like I’m on the right track. It’s almost there.
Outside the world is dying, but at The Sandbar (Happy Hour Specials! Karaoke Nightly!) the drinks are half price. I order an onerous maneuver from a bartender named Wink. I hear the screaming down the street. Hope I can finish my drink before
the apocalypse comes in here.
Aha! There’s the idea that I didn’t know I always wanted for this story. 😀 I tweaked it just a little more and ended up with the final draft at the beginning of this blog post.
What do you think of how the story evolved? Does it change the way you perceive the final story to see where it came from? If you write flash fiction (or short stories, novels, etc), how many drafts do you go through before you get a final result and how much does your story change?
- 50 word challenge for April (usaukwoods.wordpress.com)
- The Reply (A 50-Word Story) (doingthewritething.wordpress.com)
- Trying my hand at the February Challenge: 50-Word Story (doingthewritething.wordpress.com)