Utilising the Power of Suggestion

I’m delighted to report that this month a short, short story of mine won second prize in a competition run by Writing Magazine. It’s lovely to have the exposure of being published in such a significant journal and to receive the judges’ feedback.

They wrote:

“What works so beautifully in this story is the way Dianne uses the gaps in the story, and the power of suggestion, so that everything is implied and nothing is spelled out. The reader sees everything from the perspective of the unnamed child in the close third-person narrative, picking up and piecing together clues and scraps of information.

Everything jars and creates a sense of unease. There’s the barren feel of the day at Aunt Liliane’s, the unexpectedly lavish ice-cream, the money gift and the odd choice of a pair of cheap sunglasses. The writer’s quietly confident skill in using the power of suggestion to tell this family tragedy means that what is unsaid – to the child, to the reader – speaks volumes. It’s beautifully done – a sad, subtle story steeped in sorrow and permeated with atmosphere from beginning to end.”

This story started as an exercise in an online flash fiction writing course run by the wonderful writer, Ken Elkes. It pushed me to think of creating unusual connections in stories, which is something I find compelling as a reader.