Monday, January 8, 2018

Round and Round We Go

You all know by now how much I enjoy writing short fiction to prompts or themes. Well, over the holidays, literary agent Janet Reid held a flash fiction contest. But this was no ordinary flash fiction contest. Usually, we have about 48 hours to write a 100 word story that must include all five prompt words.

This time? Rounds. Four of them.

Round One: Prompt Word = bird, Number of Words = 30
Round Two: Prompt Word = ring, Number of Words = 25
Round Three: Prompt Word = colly, Number of Words = 25
Round Four: Prompt Word = sent, Number of Words = 20

Most of the usual rules applied along with a big twist: You could write individual stories each time OR build on a previous "starter" - yours or someone else's (with attribution, of course.)

It. Was. A. Blast.

I chose to build on my story. It was a risk because I didn't know what the next round's prompt word would be until it opened. I kept my story creepy (big surprise!) and my fingers crossed that I could make the prompt words work. My entry is below, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.


*****

Fog shrouds the house.

A bird flits by a window, the old glass broken from within.

The fog breathes, escapes.

The bird does not.

Inside, the occupants are still hungry.

Long ago, they gathered at the dinner bell's ring.

But the meal was not for them.

The only thing to grow up was their rage.

Now, they're the monsters. Cursed, caged.

Desperate, their tongues, long and twisted, bruised colly and cobalt, lick the walls, tasting memories of blood and bone.

When they turn on each other, it's swift, unsentimental.

Only one remains.

She crunches her brothers' bones, satiated.

For now.

***** 

Would you build on your own story? Someone else's? Or would you write a new one - with that tiny word count! - each round? Do you enjoy writing to prompts or themes or super small word counts? Or do you find them too restrictive?

24 comments:

  1. That is excellent! You fit in the four words so well. I think creepy is your thing.

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    1. Thanks so much, Alex! And as weird as it might be, I like that creepy is my thing. :)

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  2. You did really well! Flash fiction contests seems really hard to me so I'm very impressed with your story. Very creepy :-)

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    1. Thanks!

      They can be hard, but don't rule out giving them a shot. Sometimes the theme, etc might be just the right spark for you. :)

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  3. Wow, I love this!! So impressed that you managed to include all the prompts in such a seamless way. Bravo!!

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    1. Thank you, Julie!

      It wasn't easy. Using "colly" was especially tough.

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  4. Doing rounds is more difficult. Well done, you!

    I remember doing rounds with a contest Samhain ran. Each week for four weeks, you had to wow their editors with the first lines of your wip.

    I won, having nothing more than those few lines. My friend pushed me into entering even though I had nothing more than an idea for a story. The editor waited for me to finish the novel and they offered me a contract within two days.

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  5. You got all of them in! Great job too.

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  6. Ooh, I like it. Very creepy, but still a fun read. It's got a great, Gothic atmosphere going.

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    1. Love the idea of the Gothic atmosphere - thanks, JH!

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  7. That is a really creepy story. Sounds like the start of a Supernatural episode.

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    1. Thanks, Susan! I actually have Supernatural on my Netflix list but haven't watch it yet.

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  8. I enjoyed your story so much. Dark and scary. I love it! You truly have a remarkable talent, Madeline. I hope you have a brilliant 2018.

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    1. Thank you so much, Murees!

      Wishing you all the best for 2018!

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  9. LOL! I know I shouldn't be laughing, but the sadistic twist makes me chuckle.

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  10. Excellent! I love creepy, with a twist, and you do not disappoint. This looks like fun - I must check it out.

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    1. Thanks, Lee!

      I don't know if Ms. Reid will run this type of contest again, but she runs other flash fiction contests on her blog throughout the year.

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  11. That is awesome! I'm a fan of the creepy too.

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