Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Short Story: "Target Girl"

I wrote a new short story last night, I have no idea where it came from. It's very short as all my short stories are, about 800 words. It's about a knife thrower's assistant. It's called "Target Girl". Obviously, it's very new and needs some editing, but I like it.
Most of my short stories are more like a quick scene or two that show a glimpse of a relationship or a situation and imply the back story. Sometimes I am irritatingly ambiguous (apparently)and I am quite obsessed with backstory. So, in this go round the short fiction carousel, I tried to make the front story just as interesting and active as the back story that is hinted at, and I make my ending more definative and less disputable.
Perhaps it's because as a reader I enjoy stories that leave a lot open to interpretation and are less literal that I usually write like that. Sometimes it seems to piss people off. I took a "Sudden Fiction" class two semesters ago which was structured like a workshop. We would read and discuss our work as a group. I found many of the other students wanted to be told exactly what was happening at all times, exactly how the story ended. They felt very strongly about it. I'm too young to be quite so set in my ways that I won't try new things. I hope that some experimentation will kick up inspiration for a novel length story I've been having trouble with.
So here's my first paragraph as it stands in all its rough draft grit:
Laura slid her hands down the sides of her body feeling the stiff boning around her waist and the sequins like scales that draped, barely covering her hips. She squirmed slightly hoping to make the skirt seem longer. The fading sunlight warmed her little canvas dressing tent. With a pitted looking glass, she applied her powder and slipped on her feathered headband.

I've always believe in brevity in openings. It certainly departs from my usual stories. I've always been fascinated with traveling shows of the late 19th early 20th century anyway, and what's more captivating than the impalement arts?


  1. Good luck with this! are you going to post it anywhere?

  2. I want to wait and possibly enter it a short fiction contest or submit it for publication (after editing!). Some contests and journals want only work that is previously unpublished, so I'll wait and see how that goes before I put it up anywhere. If I do it'll probably be on here.

  3. I look forward to reading this one of these days!!