Creative Writing, Flash Fiction

The Final Light

She paused and looked around the quiet stretch of land, dotted with the proof of life once lived. No one else had chosen this spot for this night and she supposed that made sense. But, for her, the lines separating the living and the dead had always been thin, and they were getting thinner with each passing moment. She’d long preferred the company of the dead anyway; why should now be any different?

Her final spot chosen, she turned and watched for his approaching figure. He’d been close behind the whole walk here, but she couldn’t make out his frame in the last of the light. The very last of it actually, she thought and chuckled. He should have caught up by now. She called into the falling darkness. Nothing.

Her skin prickled, but she refused to let herself panic. There was still time, she thought, let him enjoy himself. That was the whole point of their meeting, after all. Comfort, enjoyment.

The rest of the world had paired off immediately after the announcement, contacting loved ones, holing up with families, or running off to be with friends. But, ten years as a coroner’s assistant had given her a certain aversion to the living. So, after the announcement, she’d had no one to turn to for comfort, until she saw him. He was alone too, and his deep brown eyes caught her attention immediately. He shouldn’t have to spend this time alone, and neither should she.

They’d gone home together.

She turned again, squinting through the now complete darkness. She said his name. Then again, louder. “Caesar! C’mere boy!” Only silence answered her call, and her stomach clenched. It was getting close and she was suddenly very aware of how badly she did not want to be alone. It was why she’d been drawn to him on the street. Why she’d chosen this place for their last moments. She’d been alone most of her life, yet she couldn’t stand the thought of being alone in death.

“Caesar!”

She looked up to the sky.

The moon shone neon bright, catching the stones around her and bouncing back into the charged atmosphere. Then, the light was gone.

It was here. She fell to her knees in the pitch black night, the last night, and reached out into the nothingness around her. She called again, one last time. This time though, there was a bark. Soft fur brushed her hands and a cold nose pressed against her cheek. Her arms closed around his solid form and he sighed against her as the meteor met the Earth and the last darkness met the final light.

 

You can find this and other stories in my upcoming book of flash fiction, “A Flash in the Dark.”

Blog, Writing Blog

Storytelling in Web Writing (Why You Need It)

Think about the last thing you read that immediately pulled you in and made you want to know more.

Was it an opening line in a movie? (“In a galaxy far, far away…”)

Maybe it was a book. (“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”)

No matter what it was, it was probably compelling enough to snag your interest. And the rest of the story was probably compelling enough to keep your attention. Creative writers know how to tell a story. And if you’re writing for the web, you should too.

No matter what you are writing online (blogs, website copy, social media posts, etc.) you have the same job as those writing novels or stories: to pull in readers, keep them interested, and peak their curiosities. So, to achieve the same things a creative writer hopes to achieve, a web writer needs to utilize some of the same tools and techniques.

USE A STORY ARC

When you are writing for the web, you are trying to take readers through a very particular journey.

You are trying to gain their attention, turn them into interested readers or leads, make them customers, and then continue to educate and inform them so they will become ambassadors of your business. This process is very similar to the story arc of a novel or fiction piece.

A story arc has:

Exposition: The introduction of your characters, their background information, and why the reader should care about them.

Rising Action: The introduction of a conflict.

Climax: The conflict hits the most dramatic point.

Falling Action/Resolution: The characters find the solution to their problem and their stories are wrapped up.

TUG AT THE HEART-STRINGS

Using compelling characters, you take your readers on this journey. While your web writing may not contain an orphaned boy who learns he is a wizard and has to repeatedly battle the most powerful evil wizard in the world, it should tell a story.

One of the best examples of great storytelling on a digital medium is Dove. Dove tells the story of real women who don’t look like supermodels. We’re drawn into their stories because they are real. They then branched out and told the story of a soldier who simply wants to see his new son. There are compelling characters, rising action as they tell his story, and a resolution as he gets to see his son for the first time. (We’re not crying, you’re crying!)

While this is a video, you can use these techniques when writing a blog, creating web copy, or building a social media campaign.  The point is, no matter what you are writing, you need to make sure to do a few things:

  • Capture attention
  • Make a human connection
  • Appeal to emotions
  • Stand out

You can do all of these things by simply telling a compelling story. Whether it’s two pages or two sentences, writing for the web doesn’t have to be boring. And, if it’s done right, it will tell a story that sticks with your audience.

This post was originally published, here.