Kathy fish, Writing Prompts & Craft Articles

Bonus Unexpected Sabbatical: March 21

Okay, here’s one for the Saturday crowd. I posted this in last year’s Fast Flash Reunion Extravaganza: One thing that is fun to do is to weave facts from other disciplines into your flash fiction (science, art, history, welding, spelunking). I’ve seen this in the marvelous work of Ingrid Jendrzejewski and Tania Hershman to name just a couple.

A human brain cell has the ability to hold 5 times more information than the Encyclopedia.

One of my favorite short stories that does this is “Body Language” by Diane Schoemperlen. I’ve been unable to find it online, but it’s in her collection by the same name and in BASS 1998. It weaves facts about the human body around a story of a couple’s troubled marriage and it’s stunning. (also includes Grey’s Anatomy type illustrations).

It does interesting things to weave a factual voice into an otherwise emotional story for counterbalance. Your facts may serve as metaphors. Or you may use a “borrowed form” from another discipline to tell your story.

Anyway! Your prompt is to do just this in the space of a flash length piece. Consider using the segmented or mosaic form for this. I’ve lifted some science facts below from the internet (so reword them a bit if you use them), but you can also find your own, from science or anything else. Consider including completely made up facts, too!

Fun Facts:

Bats always turn left when leaving a cave. 

The heart of a shrimp is located in its head.

It is possible to hypnotize a frog by placing it on its back and gently stroking its stomach.

The Gulf of California is a spreading zone – many millions of years from now, it will be an ocean.

People who wade into the Dead Sea automatically float. Dissolved salts make the water so dense, humans are less dense in contrast and so float.

A human brain can generate electricity and energy when we are awake and therefore can light up a bulb. It operates on the same amount of power of 10 watt light bulb.

A pregnant woman dreams most about three things, frogs, worms and potted plants. Other than this, due to hormones, women also dream about water or even have sexual and violent dreams.

The brain is capable of surviving for 5 to 6 minutes only if it doesn’t get oxygen after which it dies.

The average heart is the size of a fist in an adult.

Christmas day is the most common day of the year for heart attacks to happen.

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