SO.  A new year is nearly upon us.

My fingers and brain have been heavily engaged in fleshing out Welsan’s story these last few months – first through flash fiction challenges, then through NaNoWriMo. Now I’m adding on through good ol’ fashioned gruntwork in the trenches, as I wrestle Welsan’s complex life and moral dilemmas into something readable, engaging, well-paced, and vividly textured. (I hope.)

That’s my goal, anyway. But I’m still in a first draft.

As January 1st and the end of Welsan’s first draft draws near, I am realizing my need to set Welsan aside while I work on something else. Something completely different.

I used this photo to create the idea of Maz the Junk-Man, racing against time to save those he loves.

During 2012, I wrote fifty-four distinct pieces of flash fiction, most of them Five Sentence Fiction entries (courtesy of Lillie McFerrin) or Write for Ten entries (courtesy of Donna McNicol). There are a couple of contest entries as well, of which I am ridiculously proud (is it OK for me to say that?).

But here’s the interesting thing: My current project, Memento Mori (about a soul-reaper named Welsan who gets caught up in the aftermath of a botched suicide) was a direct result of a piece of flash fiction I posted here, quite out of the blue, back in June.

Enough people liked it, and asked for more, that I thought “Sure – why not? Let’s make another episode.” Surprisingly, enough people wanted an episode beyond that, so I wrote another one. And then another, because the requests kept coming.

Now I’m barreling my way toward the end of a novel-length rough draft, and I’ve got a small but loyal army of die-hard Welsan fans impatiently awaiting their hard copy of his entanglements with The Mortuary, the Vassal of Ochre, subversive Vikings, and the suicidal Jada, who harbors complex secrets of her own.

It’s been a long and curious ride – not to mention exhilerating – and all from a spot of spontaneous flash fiction.

This eventually brought me to a question that I had to ask myself: What other flash fiction snippets deserve a life of their own?

This photo of a gypsy bowtop vardo became the setting for Lenuta’s entrapment in a magic mirror, 
where she is expected to perform for an unearthly gypsy king.

Of the 54 flash fiction entries posted so far on this blog, I have received an overwhelmingly strong response to three other could-be-longer flash fiction stories. Two of them were contest entries; the third, an off-the-cuff five sentence fiction hoping for a different take on the word “devotion.”All of them received a surprising amount of reader feedback and requests for more, just like Welsan.

And so I am wondering, dear reader, if you can help me narrow it down to one story idea that really needs to be told – not that the others don’t need telling, but one of these should take priority at this point; and I’m honestly not sure which it should be.

What follows is a one-sentence “hook” for each story idea.
(I need practicing writing hooks, anyway; and this is the quickest way to fill you in.)

Cooper and the Death-Cat: On the eve of her death, Beulah Judson is presented with a choice: to die that night, or enter a dangerous world where she can attempt to right a tragic mistake that has haunted her entire life. (To read the original 347 words about Beulah, go HERE.)

Admit One: Behind the Curtain: Lenuta’s attempt to attend a gypsy circus runs amuck when she is trapped within the Gypsy Queen’s mirror, where she is told she must perform as part of a macabre circus for the pleasure of an unearthly Gypsy King. (To read the original 386 words about Lenuta, go HERE.)

Maz the Junk-Man: As floodwaters threaten to overwhelm the home that saved him from the streets, a scavenging inventor races against time to save those who once saved him – first from the flood, then from the lingering demons that haunt their lives. (To read the original Five Sentence Fiction about Maz’s mission, go HERE.)

My internal image of Moosie the Death-Cat perfectly captured in this photo – though hopefully 
the nursing home Beulah Judson resides in isn’t anywhere near this run down…


Do any of these story ideas grab you?

If so – which one?

I would love to explore one of these ideas more thoroughly via my flash fiction in the coming months; 
but I want to know: Which would YOU like to see fleshed out?

Do any of these sound trite or overused – something you’ve seen too many times before?
(Don’t be afraid to tell me that, either.)

Let me know!! Any feedback is appreciated.