CW: Bean there, done that.

“Write a story about beans in 99 words, reduce it to 59 words, and reduce it to 9 words and rewrite the final story into 99 words, no more, no less.”
– a prompt for this week’s CW piece.
[Source: @CarrotRanch]

 

The below piece was submitted as an entry for this year’s Rodeo contest
and won a spot in the finals, too. Yeehaw! 

 

The Ultimate Flash Fiction (TUFF) was indeed tough. At first, I really struggled with the fact that I would have to write a story, then get rid of almost all of it, and then rewrite the whole thing without copying the original version. It felt like the first version should be good enough. Why go and write a whole new story? Going through the process allowed me to understand that editing does not have to mean what you initially wrote was bad. It was just… different. There are so many perspectives for the same thing. It is crucial to realize that you are capable of writing the same thing in different ways.

Here it goes:

99 words

“Tonight’s guest is the winner of this year’s Sharp Knife Award – Julian Knight.”

“Thank you for having me.”

“I’ve eaten at your restaurant before and have to admit that everything I tried was absolutely delicious.”

“I’m glad to hear that. Everything is freshly made in-house.”

“Although, there was one item on the menu that I felt didn’t belong with all the other fancy foods.”

“Which one?”

“From Rugs to Riches Beans.”

“Ah, yes. It’s a nod towards my childhood. We couldn’t afford fancy. I want everyone to be able to afford a meal at my restaurant. All are welcome.”

 

59 words

“Your restaurant won this year’s Sharp Knife Award. How do you feel?”

“I’ve dreamt about it since I was a kid.”

“Did your mom cook?”

“Whenever she wasn’t working, trying to make ends meet… Beans were a staple food.”

“Is that where “From Rags to Riches Beans” came from?”

“Yes. It’s affordable. I don’t want anyone to go hungry.”

 

9 words

From Rags to Riches Beans, never forget your roots.

 

99 words

“Julian Knight won this year’s Sharp Knife Award with his new restaurant, and so I had to see for myself if his food was any good. For an appetizer, I ordered octopus, for dinner lobster, and for dessert – creme brulee. Everything was perfectly cooked. It was delicious. The owner of the restaurant came to check up on me, and so I took the opportunity to ask him about a menu item that didn’t quite fit with the rest.”

“I wanted to pay homage to my childhood with “From Rags to Riches Beans.” Everyone should be able to afford food.”

***

P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post so that I can get an alert and check out your piece. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!

Stay golden,

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***

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44 thoughts on “CW: Bean there, done that.

Add yours

  1. Wow! That’s an interesting prompt. I liked how you’ve taken different angles. I’d like to try this one, though I’m not sure if I’m going to write about beans. But I’m definitely going to to the reducing and increasing task.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Beans were definitely not the easiest to work with. The process seems weird, unnecessary and somewhat scary. But I think it’s well worth a try to see how you can better yourself and draw out the essence of a story. Let me know if you decide to post your attempt!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice going Goldie! I have a visual of the same story…written differently. Each one is just as good, just different. This also answers the question…How long does a story have to be? Answer – as long as it takes to write it.

    Well Done Goldie. I will remember this encouragement for a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No. The contest has come to a close. There was a jury of a few people. It was a blind judging, meaning the judges did not know who wrote what. Unfortunately, I did not win, but I was still pleased to hear that my work was recognized. I’m developing more confidence. I submitted another story for an international contest. The results should be in by mid February. I think I will try and participate in more next year.

      Like

      1. Can’t wait!

        Today I was listening to an interview with a writer.
        She told she’d do an interview with her main characters.
        Asking regular things like they’re favorite color, childhood memory or what the most and least like of their body.
        In that way she could focus on the details of the characters.
        I thought it’s an interesting way of writing a book!

        Have you ever done something like that?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have to admit that I am in awe of how deep people go when “getting to know their characters.” No, I have never done that, but yes, I have heard of that before and I do consider doing that in the future. That’s a part of planning, wheras I am more of a pantser (I write and figure things out as I go).

          I noticed that I my writing focuses on what I pay attention to as I read. As a reader, the main thing for me is the plot. Characters come secondary and the world around them… is mostly background noise to me. So when I write, I want the plot to be great, and then write the characters around that. I barely write anything about the world. I do realize that not everyone is like that. People like to identify with the characters. They like to be able to imagine the world. I definitely have to take that into consideration in the future.

          Like

  3. This is one absolutely interesting story! And I don’t know if I can do that editing technique you did. (I guess I won’t know until I try)

    I think congratulations are in order! I’ve been anticipating this day like crazy. It’s nice that your writing is being recognized and appreciated this way. So… where’s the party at?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Precisely. Let me know if you do get to try it. It’s tricky at first, but it did give me a lot to ponder about.

      🙂 Thank you. I’m not on a world tour yet, so no party. It would be so awesome to do a book tour through the places where my readers are from. Hmm… one day, when I’m rich and famous…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So, in the first version I was imagining a carpet salesman who became a chef with his Rugs To Riches dish 🙂 I think I’d give that menu item a miss though; wouldn’t want to be one of those has-beans. Nicely done, Goldie.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooh. I very much enjoyed the evolution of this piece over the course of the exercise. I through a period of time where I focused on micropoetry and it really helped to narrow down everything into just a handful of words. Now those little things are what come first in my posts. A little teaser excerpt, if you will. I also want to add that when it comes to writing fiction, a lot of it seems to go this way. Write it all out. Edit and cut. Very brief synopsis, or potential tag line. Followed by rewriting the whole thing based on what you’ve learned from the story. Both 99 word versions of those were interesting and informative and neither detracted from the events of the story.

    Like

    1. It definitely was. The prompt was difficult by itself. And then the whole word-count edits? It all seemed silly at first. Then, it got a bit intimidating. Once I completed it, I realized how the same person can write the same thing in different ways. I love to improvise in more ways than one when it comes to many fields of my life. Same with writing. I sit down, I write, and then I am done. Most people write, leave it alone, and then return to it. It might be because I do not have too much time on my hands, but I VERY rarely do that. This highlighted the fact that sometimes rewriting things can lead me to a better place. It also helped me focus on the essence of my story.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sam, I’d never tried this type of writing prompt before, and I think it’s great for writing practice!

    I agree with you that “editing does not have to mean what you initially wrote was bad. It was just… different. There are so many perspectives for the same thing. It is crucial to realize that you are capable of writing the same thing in different ways.”

    Upon reading the final 99 word story, it’s interesting to see a bit more of the food critic’s experience, it was a bit more detailed in that they’d eaten octopus, lobster, and creme brulee. You could tell that this is why the “From Rags to Riches Beans” stood out.

    I love how you’re so creative with the writing prompts!

    Liked by 1 person

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