This morning I’ve been thinking about how a single statement of belief, of truth, can transform a piece of writing–an anecdote, a joke, an email–into something else.
For example, here is an excerpt from an email my dad sent me earlier:
Please write down my cell number. It is always on and always with me. Still using my Atlanta number. I can’t let go of some things.
Pilgrims sitting in contemplation beneath the tree chase after the leaves like mad hens. Sometimes monks will watch them and smile. Sometimes, sheepishly, they will join in. I am against participating in mad dashes.
I’m not sure what exactly to call these kinds of sentences. “Statement” sounds too general. “Declaration” sounds too formal. “Assertion” sounds like it’s some kind of mental construct, a product of intellect rather than emotion. “Confession” has religious overtones but it seems the closest approximation–it’s almost as if the writers are revealing some truth about themselves that they hadn’t really discovered until they wrote it down.
So the contest this week is to use this kind of confessional sentence in a tiny story, 3 sentences max, or perhaps just a single scene or snippet of a conversation, but with that one sentence hinting at some deeper story, something which seems to exist outside of the sentences in time and space.
Contest starts now and ends at 2 pm EST on Thursday, May 13.
Please submit your entry to david at matadornetwork.com with ’3-sentence confession’ in subject line.
You can submit as many entries as you like.
Each entry should be NONFICTION – this is the challenge.
Each entry should be three sentences. Two of the sentences can be whatever you want descriptions that set up a scene, dialogue, information, but one sentence must be a statement of belief, which, ideally, hints at a more profound story or sense of character that goes beyond–that exists outside of–these 3 sentences.
Don’t try too hard. Last week it seemed like people were really going for something perfect–just write down sentences that are true. Don’t worry about how it “sounds.”
As with last week, I will make a mixtape based on the winning entry with possible recording / remixing of the author’s work in the mix, as well as (potentially) an essay explaining why I chose the winner(s).