Scattered Little Pieces

Scattered Little Pieces by Wayne Fenlon

A collection of 100-word stories of twists and unexpected endings. Funny, sad, poignant, shocking and sometimes absurd. You’ll want to read them twice. Sometimes little things are so much more.

The IndieMuse Review

I am absolutely in awe of writers that are able to tell a complete and satisfying story in 100 words or less. It boggles my mind how it is possible to set up a character, or scenario, provide some narrative thrust and then deliver a surprising (often twist) ending, all within a handful of sentences. As a reader, I thoroughly enjoy them. They are fun, quick reads that manage to be memorable thanks largely to their economy. As someone who writes a lot, I’m fascinated by how people are able to tell a coherent and engaging story with so few words, making it seem effortless when it must take such discipline and ruthlessness to write so efficiently. My intro to this review alone is over 100 words!

So, take that discipline, that talent for getting right to the heart of the story you want to tell and trimming away all the fat until you are left with a lean, raw little short that uses every single word with purpose and intent, then multiply that by 120. One hundred and twenty stories, all no longer than 100 words long, packed into one book.

What makes this an even more impressive accomplishment is both the variety and consistency of the stories on offer. They run the gamut from comedy to horror and everything in-between. Some stories are just fun play on words, where the fun comes from knowing what ending is coming and taking joy from how it plays out. Conversely, many of these shorts come with a classic twist ending that I never saw coming. The form suits these stories so well because you aren’t really given enough time to see the twist coming, so they come as a surprise every time. My favorites, however, tended to be the ones that go a little deeper. While many are fun reads with a memorable ending, some need to be pored over; read and read again, to get at the deeper meaning the story is trying to impart, where a single word can completely flip the story on its head. It was an incredibly engaging reading experience to have such a wide variety of styles and genres, all easily digestible within a minute or two before moving onto something completely new and different.

Obviously, with so many stories on offer, not every one lands as well as the one that precedes it, but I’d challenge anyone to show me a collection of over 100 stories that can boast a one hundred percent hit rate. I can honestly say that 9 out of ten of these stories made me laugh, or shocked me, or surprised me, or garnered any number of reactions, and the great thing about these shorts is, even if you do get to one you don’t enjoy quite as much, a turn of the page and you’re onto the next.

This was a fantastic book to pick up and enjoy a handful of stories from whenever you have a spare few minutes, need a fun read before bed, or just need a lift. More than that, the craft and skill that goes into telling stories of this length, and of this quality, is never going to be something that doesn’t feel like the work of someone on the absolute top of their writing game to me.

RICHARD MARTIN

Richard started reading horror books at a young age, starting with R L Stine’s ‘Goosebumps’ and ‘Point Horror’ series. He traumatised himself at the age of twelve when he read Stephen King’s ‘IT’, and never looked back. He is currently based in the UK, where he lives with his partner, and an inappropriate amount of books.

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