Write a short piece of flash fiction that undoes or undercuts a realization that a character has had. The story should begin with the character realizing that something he or she realized is wrong. This realization might be something simple (“I left my keys in my office”) to something more profound (“My mother really didn’t love me after all"). Whatever the case may be, the beginning of your flash fiction piece should make it clear that this character has only recently come to the realization (perhaps at the end of an unstated, yet presumed, other narrative).
Too often, short fiction turns on a sudden epiphany that a character has or a pat realization at the end. These stories are often great writing, but they don’t do much to interrogate the form of short fiction. Plenty of postmodern writers have written fiction that subjugates and undercuts the tropes of storytelling (Borges, Barthes, and others). This writing prompt (Against Epiphany) is designed to force writers away from the standard narrative fiction bag of tricks.
If you’re a Georgia high school or college writer, we’d love to read your work. Write your story and submit it to Pegasus by the February 28, 2013 submission deadline date: https://pegasus.submittable.com/submit
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