1. Mallory

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Jun 27, 2010
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    The Wacky Four-Element Flash Fiction Challenge

    Discussion in 'Writing Prompts' started by Mallory, Jun 2, 2011.

    Here is how this game works:

    Each poster provides four elements, which are bulleted below, for the next poster to include in a short story that they write and post. We're talking flash fiction here, nothing that requires lots of work and deliberation, but it should hopefully get your creativity going and you can then go apply this creativity to your "real" story in progress.

    Try and keep your flash fiction story between 100 and 500 words. Don't spend tons of time fretting over it, but also don't give something lamely flat and three sentences long.

    Also, try and bend the rules as far as you can (without copping out of the requirements: see the bullet points for more info). Have fun with unconventionality, breaking stereotypes, and taking the story in a direction one may not expect. In other words, if your character/object/theme set seems geared toward a predictable line, try and break away from that and do something funny and unique. That's the whole point of the exercise. If you get a mundane set to work with, make it un-mundane.

    After you post your creation, don't forget to include the four elements, which are described as follows, for the next person:

    -- A character. It can be the POV character or the main secondary character who the POV interacts with, but must play a key role and cannot just be mentioned in passing for the sake of fulfilling the requirement. Don't just give a name, because that means nothing. Also provide age, occupation, at least one interesting quirk, and potentially a personality trait, although be careful and sparing on this last one because you don't want to hijack too much.

    -- An object. It can be as big as a nuke bomb or small as a chewed-up pencil, but again, it has to play a role in the story and can't just be briefly mentioned in one sentence in passing.

    -- A theme. Don't get too complicated, but sum it up in one sentence. It can be something original, or something cliche like "look before you leap" or "waste not, want not" or whatever you want. The theme has to be clear for the person who reads the next poster's story and one of the characters should be able to relate to the moral, although you don't have to explicitly hammer it in. The theme can be wacky, but it has to be clear as to what moral or message you're trying to convey. (The moral itself can also be something that's not considered moral, but it has to be clear what the message is.)

    -- A wild card. This can be a place, a type of plot twist (again, be careful you're not forcing the person how to tell their story), a character personality quirk, a second object or theme or character, or anything you want, as long as it does not hinder the creativity of the writer ("i.e. the story has to move in this turn___" is not allowed)

    I'll start:

    Character: Miss Parkle, age 63, who works at a McDonald's counter and who strongly dislikes noise and people horsing around.

    Object: A gardening shovel.

    Theme: "If you want something big, start with something small and work up." (Again, these exact words don't have to be spoken, but it does have to describe the theme.)

    Wild Card: There must be at least three characters involved in the story, including Miss Parkle.

    Have fun!


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