It turns out I hadn’t been paying attention in class (and I used to be so good)… or rather, with the Tuesday Tales prompt for this week. I thought it was ‘chase’ (the story for which, The photo that no-one else can get, I posted on this blog yesterday) but that had been postponed in place of a picture… the handsome one below. So with less than 24 hours to spare I got cracking… actually I didn’t straight away, I started this afternoon… 3pm, two hours ago, but shorts are my forte (or so I’ve been told) so 300 words in two hours. No problem.
Online writing group Tuesday Tales provides a new prompt each week, the members write a story inspired by it and post it on our blogs / websites. Then we email the link and first two or three sentences to Jean Joachim. She then posts them on the Tuesday Tales blog (on a Tuesday ), gives us the link then we go out and shout about it. So, without further ado, here is my 300-worder (finished with 10 minutes to spare ).
Where’s the fun in that?
This wasn’t Nadine’s idea of fun.
Knowing she wanted to be an actress, her flatmate Tim had sold it to her as an opportunity to get in front of the camera, but neglected to tell her the camera wouldn’t be shooting at the time.
“Come on, it’ll be a laugh,” he’d said. “Get you away from those infernal study books. You’ll meet people. You know, real people who earn money for a living and you’ll earn a bit in the process.”
But this wasn’t what she classed as a ‘living’, strutting around semi-nude – the men of course, not her – and it was their silly too-big-for-their-heads cowboys hats that made her laugh, which didn’t impress them or the photographer… although Tim thought it was hilarious. Then there were the rips in their jeans her mother would have insisted on sewing up.
The models reminded her of the Chippendales except this was more tasteful… a campaign for a top jeans designer. She couldn’t remember which one, Tim had told her when they’d booked his dad’s farm, and had seemed suitably excited, but it had meant nothing to her, still didn’t. Actors and actresses, that was a different matter but fashion… modelling… had never appealed to her.
And the models could tell.
She knew they weren’t renowned for their brains – deciding that was probably why their hats were too big – or stimulating conversations, which was just as well as they were too busy preening for the camera.
“Now!” the photographer shouted, and although he was looking at the models, Nadine knew he meant her.
She sighed, picked up the bottle, shook it and headed towards the men. She wanted to be helping the photographer, adjusting lighting, whatever needed doing. Not this…
…squirting baby oil all over them
…where was the fun in that?
So, not only can you read these stories but you could also write your own using the prompts given each week. There’s no word count limit. Single-word prompts are something I regularly give my Monday night workshop and it’s amazing how different our stories can be.
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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called Short Story Saturdays where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.