Flash Fiction February 2020 – “Sentences and Fragments”

I continue with my illustrations for Flash Fiction February 2020, twenty-nine days of flash fiction stories at Fictive Dream,  an online fiction magazine featuring short stories.

For the event I created a small abstract painting for each selection – in fact, I did more than one painting per story. I am showing you all the images, day by day, throughout February. I’m also including a short write-up as to how I went about turning the authors’ words into pictorial representations.

I hope you’ll take a look at my art, then go to Fictive Dream, see which image editor Laura Black chose for the magazine, and read the story!

Thank you to Laura for her faith in my work and to the authors for such wonderful material to work with.

Today’s story is:

Sentences and Fragments by Neil Campbell. Read it here at Fictive Dream.

Here are the artworks on their own:

and here they are with the banner.


I focused on the idea of words/writing, the sky, and planes, from the images in the story. I used asemic writing in both to represent the writing assignment, the lack of meaning in the writing showing the lack of meaning the exercise seems to have. I used colors of metal and of the sky to represent planes.

Image 8 – I incorporated the colors of metal and scattered shapes resembling very vague plane parts all over the page as well as adding one somewhat whole-looking plane, since that is the interest of the character being asked to write. I then covered part of the image with green ink word-like shapes to represent sentences and fragments, to echo the fragments of the plane images: the impression I wanted to give is of futility and disjointedness.

Image 9 – I used blue to represent the sky and, by association, the empty space where planes fly – with white asemic writing and straight lines to represent the writing assignment and the condensation trails of flying planes. Both characters seem to feel the exercise is without much point and are going through the motions, and nothing is made of it that makes much sense or is permanent – they are just passing through the experience.

Read the story at Fictive Dream.

4 thoughts on “Flash Fiction February 2020 – “Sentences and Fragments”

  1. Fictive Dream

    There was no doubt in my mind that the grey/green artwork was the right one for Sentences and Fragments by Neil Campbell. The grey represents the planes, the only thing that seems to interest Jake who works with a learning support tutor. It’s a poignant moment when we read the telephone conversation between Jake and his father about his favourite plane, Swiss Miss. A strong image for a strong story.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I especially liked the inclusion of asemic writing in both images (nonsense writing) both for the visual effect and how it related to the story, depicting the reason for the title and its layers of meaning, with writing that has no meaning. I spent some time with the airplane artwork, using stencils I cut, to depict planes in parts, that looked like planes but did not overwhelm but maintained some abstraction.

  2. Laura (PA Pict)

    I like the chosen image. The monochrome makes me think of the covers of composition notebooks and of ink on paper but it also suggestive of the dulled experience the characters in the story are experiencing. The fact the plane shape is almost camouflaged in the rest of the piece is like the possibility that perhaps the writing about the plane will become fully formed but probably not. I like the flashes of acid green. Wires and sparks of thoughts and disrupted or dislocated connections all spring to mind.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I wanted the plane image to be apparent but not the main and first thing you saw with this artwork. Along with the other artwork, I also wanted to include writing, and I thought of asemic, because it looks like words, but has no meaning, it’s futile communication, which this story is about, to me.

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