What is it about gritty stories with gritty characters? Characters who walk outside the norms of society, who eschew the rules and cut their own trails through life’s jungles, not afraid to get a little blood on their blue jeans for the sake of the story. They’re often physically dirty, covered with the gritty dust of travel and, often, blatant disregard for hygiene. We love them, don’t we?
Rooster Cogburn (not to mention his young nemesis, Mattie Ross), John Luther, Rocky Balboa, Katniss Everdeen, Han Solo, Sarah Connor, just to name a few.
This month’s stories are teeming with characters that struck us as that kind of gritty. There’s that guy who’s a couple of decades older than all the other kids seeking adventure in the wilds of Alaska, or the demi-god who lives in a top-floor hole-in-the-wall apartment, or the berobed slightly-nuts classic car aficionado.
They may not be likeable, but they’re certainly lovable, and completely unforgettable.
Grit. That’s what it is. True Grit.
© 2020 Suzanne W. Vincent
Suzanne Vincent is the editor-in-chief of Flash Fiction Online. That’s what people think anyway. Actually, she’s really a pretty ordinary middle-aged woman packing a few extra pounds and a few more gray hairs than she’s comfortable with. As a writer, she leans toward the fantasy spectrum, though much of what she writes is difficult to classify. Slipstream? Isn’t that where we stick stories when we just can’t figure out where else they go? Suzanne’s first professional publication was right here at FFO, published before she joined the staff: “I Speak the Master’s Will,” — a story she’s still very proud of. While she doesn’t actually have time to blog anymore, she once did. You can still read her ancient posts on writing at The Slushpile Avalanche. Suzanne keeps a house full of kids (3), a husband (1), and pets (too many to number) in Utah, USA. Yes, she’s a Mormon. No, there isn’t another wife. Mormons haven’t actually practiced polygamy since the 1890s. Too bad. She’d love to have another woman around to wash dishes and do laundry.