Over at Terrible Minds, Chuck Wendig has a great flash fiction writing exercise going. He has a link to a random number generator and two cross reference tables. The idea is that you click the random number generator twice and look up the results in the two tables. Based on the words that you get, you now have the title of your flash fiction piece, and by default, your topic.
Once you finish your story, you post it with a link back to Chuck’s site so that he and his readers can read them.
It’s flash fiction, so you only get 1000 words. Any more than that and it doesn’t qualify. Not that I think he’s counting each link back and deleting the ones that are 1001 words, but why temp fate?
If you want to read a great example of how this works, check out GRIEFSTRUCK SKULL by my compadre Mikel at Untitled*United. Great flash story that really packs a punch. (You’ll laugh later, I swear.)
So, gotta tell ya, I really want to try this out. And then the following argument broke out in my head:
Me: But I’m at the tail end of the first draft of my new novel and writing everyday and I don’t want to lose momentum.
Other Me: It’s just a thousand words. Less if you want. Can be a hundred words if you’re that good.
Me: Yeah, but where I am in the novel is smack in the middle of the final action scene. It’s close but not quite done. Momentum, I tell you, momentum.
Other Me: It’s flash fiction! It’s short, written (and read) in a flash! Get it? You can knock it out in a night.
Me: Okay! I shout. I’m game! Bring it on! What are my words?
Other Me: AMETHYST PRISON
Me: Are you kidding me?
Other Me: Nope.
Me: What am I supposed to do with that?
Other Me: You’re the writer. Figure it out.
Since all “entries” have to be in by January 17th, I might have to take a pass on this one… In the meantime, enjoy the result of Mikel’s effort.