A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day 4: “D”


Devilin gave a look of surprise to his wife Angelica, the famous dietitian, and said “I get toD drink a Pepsi with your prescribed diet?”

She said, “A little reward for you is the best way to keep you on your diet.” She didn’t say, And a big reward for me is that it’s the best way to smother the sweet taste of ethylene glycol.

He grinned and enjoyed his last supper.

She added, “Good night, dear.” She didn’t add See you in the morning.



Writer’s note: My future agent (hey, it’s my blog, I can dream) told me I have a tendency to repeat myself. I think it comes from a device I use in copywriting called parallel construction. You see it used in the story above in the second and fourth paragraphs.

In copywriting, it works well to create a rhythm in the reader’s mind and get your brand across without being dull. Dream Agent argues that the reader doesn’t need it in fiction. Moreover, doesn’t want it. I’m apparently a slow learner. But if the first step is recognition, I’m on my way to a cure!

Come on back tomorrow for “E.”

18 thoughts on “A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day 4: “D”

    1. Even more interesting were the two examples she (oops, I mean Dream Agent — it could be a guy) pointed out to me. One, I understood. The other — wow! Would never have caught it in a million years of editing. Maybe I’ll get to show you one day.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great story, John. It’s amazing what you can pack into six sentences!
    I’m also a great fan of parallel construction, because of how it helps the reader compare two things to notice what’s the same and what’s different. Maybe that’s from my background in education and scientific writing. In this story I think it works beautifully.

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    1. Celia, thanks! It’s kinda weird because my natural style is very short sentences, so this has been a tad on the difficult side. Not to mention coming up with a story every day since I DID NOT plan ahead like a smart person woulda done.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Not only bite marks, El, but I’ve been fin slapped on two occasions. It’s painful. But after a few hours, the pain subsides, I lick my wounds and get back to work. This is a grueling business, I wish I knew why we were trying to break into it — we oughta be trying to break OUT of it.

      Have fun editing tonight, I’ll be there in spirit … but with a Mountain Dew, not a cold beer.


  2. Well, I have to disagree with dream agent. I think repetition used well becomes a stylistic choice that can be very effective. Anyway, I enjoyed the story, but you guys! I hope I find a lighter story soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha, you’re slumming in the wrong NEIGH-borhood (pun intended for you, Julie) for lighter fare. Maybe one of the twenty-six. I’ll work on it. That gives me twenty-two more options since I still haven’t written E yet. I could write an homage to Editors since they’re the nicest people in the world.


  4. Hi John! I thought I’d see if Google was going to play nice and let me comment on your site today, rather than just tweet you with how much I’m enjoying these stories.
    I liked your portrayal of the wife’s interiority today. And I prefer italics, unlike some 🙂 although I preferred yesterday’s “measure twice” story. Loved the ‘neigh’ pun; and I look forward to reading THAT story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to see Google was kinder and gentler today. It’s a tough lesson for all of us, Google included I guess.

      I’ve always enjoyed italics, Kae, but I’ve started to question every time I use them and make sure they’re necessary and not hiding a weakness in my writing, which is sometimes the case. Kinda like using lame dialog tags instead of working harder to find the right word in dialog or the right action for the speaker.


  5. I’m with Julie–repetition done well can be a very useful story device. But it’s about making it sound natural, and not like a textbook. Good story! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, that caveat of making sure your repetition is done well. Maybe that’s what I’m missing sometimes. That’s why I’m still a work in progress, but I suppose that’s better than being a work in regress. Nobody needs that.


  6. Confession: I’m still a rookie in the blogosphere. Hence, I’m a tad unclear on what a “Pingback” is. The antithesis is, perhaps, a pongback, but I’m equally unclear about those. I’ll click it and cross my fingers…


      1. Thank you, wise and wonderful Halee. Now I have to figure out how one does that. No hints, I’ll get this one figured out with a little help from the folks in the lab soon as they’re finished dusting for prints on my keyboard…


    1. Because she is EVIL!!! Mwahahahaha.

      Like most dietitians who become wives (the inverse is also true, wives who later become dietitians) and find themselves in six-sentence stories, they were EVIL long before they were either a dietitian or a wife. Their Pepsi-swilling slob of a husband brings the EVIL out in them. If she hadn’t married the wrong knucklehead, Angelica in this story would likely be crocheting on the back porch listening to the song of the Whippoorwhill. But then, she wouldn’t be in a six-sentence story cuz who wants to read about that person?

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