Watch FREEDOM AND CARNAGE, 140 Character Short Story:
Get to know writer Eric Benac:
1) What is your very short story about?
On the surface, this story is very simple. It features exactly one character and one event. However, like Hemingway, there’s a lot below the surface. The aftermath of the dog’s escape are not described, but hinted at through the title.
To me, the dog represents those who have been marginalized in life. The dog is left alone to bark, ignored, in its little corner. And then it finally breaks free and makes its mark. Is its mark positive or negative? It doesn’t matter, so much as the mark is made.
2) What motivated you to write this story and submit it to the festival?
I’ve always been interested in the “short-short” and this is definitely the shortest story I’ve ever written. I don’t mean to hammer on Hemingway, but the contest really reminds me of his six word story: “For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Worn.”
The idea of telling a story in Twitter format was especially interesting, as that particular form of social media has really taken off and has become a modern day storytelling platform.
3) What movie have you seen the most in your life?
I’m one of those people that likes to watch bad movies for a laugh. As a result, I’m sad to report, but I’ve probably seen “Troll 2” more than any other movie! How depressing.
However, as far as “good” movies go, I’d say I’ve seen “Apocalypse Now” several times. It’s probably my favorite movie, overall.
4) How many scripts and stories have you written?
I’ve written quite frequently, though I haven’t had any fiction piece published before this piece. I wrote stories all through college and finished two books and 30 short stories last year.
Currently working on improving my books and trying to write some sketch comedy. I’m a professional writer by trade, but try to squeeze in an hour or two every day to write my own stuff.
Recently, two of my essays were published at a John Steinbeck literary site called “SteinbeckNow.com.”
5) What artists would you love to work with?
I would have loved to have got the chance to do some work with Steinbeck. He’s a real inspiration. As far as contemporary writers go, David Mitchell is doing some amazing things. I’ve been a big fan of his since reading “Cloud Atlas” in college.
6) What is your passion in life?
My passion is my writing and I want to do what I feel Steinbeck did with his career: emotionally touch people while retaining a keen literary skill. I don’t want to become a modernist puff of smoke that critics love nor do I want to be a mainstream hack.
Instead, I want to bridge the gap by bringing literature and great reading back to the every day reader. A tall goal: but it’s my passion! Your passion should be huge.
7) Any tips for other writers who want to write a 140 character short story?
Write a three to four page story and delete everything else but the climax. Now, tweak the wording until you’ve got it down to 140 words.. A great climax should express the story’s thrust and drive in seconds. Just make sure the story says something emotionally: otherwise, there’s no point.
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