Poets: do you like to write in poetry forms, or do you dread it? – Sonnets, Haiku, Villanelles, etc.
This week I ran across a writing idea for flash fiction, a writing idea that uses a form or pattern for the sentences. I wrote this story using the pattern . . . can you guess what the pattern is? The pattern a little obscure, but I’ll reveal it at the end.
Here is my story: “Mangoes, Papaya.”
Mangoes. Papaya. Hot sun. No breeze today. Jessie felt sicker than ever. Ever since she’d come on this Maui vacation. If Emilio were here, he’d have known what to do – but he hadn’t. The more Jessie thought about it, the madder she got, and the madder she got, the more she regretted the marriage. How foolish it was to fall in love at first sight, even though Emilio had those dark brown liquid chocolate eyes and those sensitive lips, just like Ricky Martin, or so she had thought. But here she was at a beautiful Hawaiian condo overlooking the beach on a perfect blue tropical day, feeling sick, and no Emilio, when at the last minute a “work thing” came up, and he’d stayed behind in L.A., “- No, no, you go on without me,” he’d assured her, “you’ve earned this vacation – Go!”
And so she had, but as soon as the plane had landed and she’d gotten the Über ride to the white stucco condo, she’d started to feel sick, and feeling sick had reminded her. Emilio knew just what to do for illness, but weren’t they, newlyweds, supposed to be inseparable; after three months, still on honeymoon? Yes, she’d planned this vacation earlier, so adding Emilio onto the reservations was a formality.
But then she tried FaceTiming him at his office. That girl in the background. Lies, all lies. Jessie knew. Another. Woman.
Did you guess? The idea is to write each sentence with a certain number of words. The number of words in each sentence follows the Fibonnacci sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 . . . then reversing it – 34, 21, 13, 8, 5, 2, 1, 1.
I’ve used exercises with forms before, and I am usually surprised by the final result. It feels like a “real” story, even though I had to keep the word count in each sentence to a particular number. This probably feels like it was just an ordinary story – as long as you’re not counting the words!
Do you ever try to write a story or a poem in a form or using a pattern? Does it feel awkward? Do you like it, or do you hate it? Do you have a favorite form or pattern?