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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Flash Fiction Advisory

Alec d'Urberville's Pitchfork.

Brutality is the easy mark of a villain, but may fall flat in flash. Violence jars, and there is usually not enough space to unjar. And just forget about the necessary heightening of tension: there’s no time.

Try this. Demonstrate the villain’s predilections through symbols:

Does he carry a toy for a small child?

Does she wear an ancient fur coat with the eye sockets still in?

In small spaces, the “potential energy” of menace comes on with greater force than the “kinetic energy” of violence.

If violence is a stumbling block, let menace be a bridge over it.

Flash Fic Advisory #9: Menace, not violence, may be the fastest way to evoke villainy.
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