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Words 301-400

It’s Week 4 of the 100-words-per-week Serial Novel (which is technically Flash Fiction) story I’ve been working on in the Writing Forum Exercises I participate in. This week, we addressed the Climax and Resolution of the story typically found in Act III of a 3-Act format and the six prompts to work into the narrative were: Invitation, Lantern, Twisted, Grainy, Falls, and Greedy.

If you recall from earlier in our story…

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The next 100 words

You might remember from last week that I’m participating in a month-long writing exercise building a short story [1], one-hundred words at a time.

Last week, we tackled the introduction: a hundred words to acquaint the reader with the characters, setting, and develop a story question or inciting incident. This week, we move on to what is often considered Act One in the Three Act Writing Structure [2] where we address the Rising Action [3]. Prompt words to weave in, to add to the challenge [4], are: common, infinite, captive, flaming, constant, movement

So, without further delay… the next 100 words! (Ahh… maybe I should include the first 100 words? They’ll be in italics.)

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Serial Novels

Before television… before radio… many people got their fiction fix via serial novels. [1]

This is especially true for Rose in the late 1920s and early 1930s. While radios were getting their start, it wasn’t until the mid-30s that nearly every household could afford one. And since books were expensive and libraries few and far between, newspapers filled the void by publishing serial stories that readers looked forward to each week. [2]

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Too Close to Home

How’s that for a headline? ‘SCARFACE AL’ SURRENDERS
Capone articleOn March 21, 1930, this headline topped most newspapers. After all, Al Capone was “Public Enemy Number 1”.

Not that there weren’t other big name gangsters: Bugsy Siegel (New York), Nucky Johnson (New Jersey), Harry Rosen (Philly)… And the one that worried Rose (and Harold) the most: Tom Dennison.

Poor Harold. He has gotten himself mixed up with Dennison’s minions so you can bet that seeing a headline like this March 21 banner was, to say the least, worrisome.

What? You say you don’t know who this Tom Dennison character is?

Well, it turns out that Omaha, Nebraska was a hotbed of bootleg liquor, illegal gambling, and ladies of questionable virtue. And they all answered to the beck and call of Tom Dennison.

It was this tiny bit of trivia that I stumbled over one day during genealogy research that sparked my imagination.

What if a poor farmer loses everything he has saved when the bank closes after the Stock Crash of 1929?

And what if, in desperation to save his farm, he gets involved with a local bootlegging kingpin who puts him in harm’s way?

And what if, in trying to save his farm, he risks losing everything that is important to him?

Yeah, I’d say this headline was a bit too close to home for Harold’s liking.