Blood Up to the Horse’s Bit: An Oklahoma Love Story

Hello, Gentle Readers,

Have any of you all written flash romance fiction? I read about an editor whose father was a ‘traveling minister.’ In Oklahoma mountain-speak, that means a revival/tent preacher. I was at the keyboard immediately and just 4 days later, I sent it in to a Flash F house.

 

 
This was another story about the deep south of Oklahoma. It’s about the Book of Revelations’ creating a runaway marriage. In 1,000 words.

 
I don’t think it’s my normal editors’ dream submission. Might be too … weird. What do you think?

 

After thinking it over I submitted it as Mainstream Flash Fiction, for a similar reason.  Although it did have a happy ending, the Book of Revelations and an Oklahoma Tent Revival aren’t the near-slapstick fare that sometimes hits the Romance shelf these days.  Not much snappy dialogue, either, because people talk very slowly down there, especially the folks below the poverty line who go to revivals.

 

 

Plenty of accurate dialogue and local color went into this 4-page story. Grit and realism…

 

Technique-wise, I wrote in Close/Limited Omniscience, 3rd person.  I broke the pov into two scenes, making the heroine start the story.  I made sure to use her name in the first sentence, too, to avoid any reader confusion.  The girl, Liddie, was talking from her world.

 

Next section was ‘his.’  It clearly began with his name, immediately, and his masculine country voice was doing the talking.

 

Romance novelist Christie Craig emphasizes that characters should sound whatever sex you’ve written them to be.  This was easy, because the action/plot had clarified that he was financially stable and she wasn’t.  That he was a farmer and she was a preacher’s daughter.  And so on (as my Chinese students said).

 

The hero’s section was more cheerful, too, and easier to write; I’d gone through all their tribulations already.  SPOILER FOLLOWS.

Now the happy couple was just sailing along together.

 

This was actually hard work.  I didn’t have to do much research, but it called for remembering things I wanted to just forget — like the harshness and narrow-minded people we all run across.

 

Therefore,  I’ll be glad to write a flippant, cheery Regency romance now!

 

 

Best!  Julie

 

 

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