Flash Fiction Fifty

As if I don’t have far more on my plate than I can chomp, I had a sudden urge to do some of the Flash Fiction I used to indulge in, as a useful exercise in brevity.  It occurred to me to start a Flash Fiction Fifty challenge, whereby the total story (including title) would be limited to fifty words.  First, I did a search, and I find that the Scottish Book Trust have a 50-word Fiction Competition.  The prompt for June is this picture:


I decided to enter, and dashed off the following:

‘Wow,’ Rob breathed, instantly in love.
Hopeless an approach; he’d just stammer.
‘Watch out, Eve!  Weir!’
One glance; an awkward dive.
‘Ouch!’ His arms jarred. On surfacing, grabbed the child, and struggled back.
‘G-glad it’s sh-shallow; c-can’t swim,’ as he lifted her to the girl.
Things went swimmingly after that.

Then I realised that, ideally, the story should have had another character – the ‘baddy’.  Also, it doesn’t make it clear that the girl can be available. So I produced the following amendment.  Pity I didn’t do it for my actual entry.  Anyway, isn’t it amazing how many words one can prune to keep to 50 and still make sense?

‘Wow,’ Rob breathed, instantly in love.
Approach hopeless; he’d just stammer.
‘Eve!  Weir!’  Furiously, ‘Marmeduke, why aren’t you watching my sister?’
One glance; awkward dive.
‘Ouch!’ arms jarring. Surfaced alongside the child, and struggled back.
‘G-glad it’s sh-shallow; c-can’t swim,’ lifting her to the girl.
Things went swimmingly after that.

The shortcoming of the Book Club competition is that one can’t see all, or at least a number of,  the entries.  I think I will try to run something similar, but where they all appear in ‘Comments’.  First, though, I may try to pen a short series on what I see as the elements of a good piece of flash fiction, with discussion and input welcomed.  Any interest?

© Colonialist June 2015 (WordPress)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in Challenge, Flash Fiction, Light romance, Swimming, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Flash Fiction Fifty

  1. Pingback: FLASH FICTION FIFTY SHORT STORY CHALLENGE: Wounded. | Colonialist's Blog

  2. The Asian says:

    Waiting for some more flash fiction!


  3. scrapydo2.wordpress.com says:

    I am a new-be at flash fiction writing. Writing fiction pleases me a lot. I am interested in going along.


  4. Ruth2Day says:

    I did a writing course that mostly wanted weekly examples of 200 words on a given topic. Shew, that was tough, fifty words will be extremely tough for me


    • colonialist says:

      I may need to up the ante – it is, indeed, terribly difficult to squeeze all the elements of a good short story into that few words. Even with cutting down to essentials one likes the luxury of some proper description and full sentences.


  5. bulldog says:

    You’re damn good at this. ..


  6. Yes please to your last para.


  7. adeeyoyo says:

    I will be watching with bated breath…


  8. disperser says:

    Sure; I used to respond to writing prompts with impromptu flash fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. calmgrove says:

    Count me in! Really interested in your promised advisory words.


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