Flash Fiction Challenge: The Three-Sentence Story

Before we begin: last week’s challenge will be tallied up throughout the day, so go check that sucker out: “Five Random Words” awaits your seeking eyes. Now, onto this week’s challenge…

Hey! It’s my birthday.


Oh. Ahem. Sorry. That was a tad… aggro.

Still, I’m making this challenge easy to execute, perhaps difficult to execute well.

Here’s the deal:

You have three sentences to tell a story.

It can be about anything and anyone. It can take place anywhere, at any time.

But it must be three sentences only.

Further, it must — must — not be a mere vignette. Each of the three sentences should roughly correspond with Beginning / Middle / End. The goal of storytelling is to show some kind of movement through a tale, a movement that could comprise a changing character, an escalating conflict, a timeless challenge.

A good tale doesn’t merely hang on and linger like a gassy dog but, rather, finds a conclusion of some ilk.

And that’s what you must do with your three sentences.

Easy to do. Not so easy to do right.

So, that’s that. You think you’re up for the challenge?

You can, as always, post to your blog and share the link. That said, if you’re so inclined, you’re free to drop the three-sentence-story into the comments below if that’s easier. (As such, I won’t be tallying these this week, I’ll just leave the comments to speak for themselves.)

You’ve got one week. This ends next Friday, April 29th.

Three sentences.

One complete story.

Beard the fuck on, penmonkeys. BTFO.

66 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: The Three-Sentence Story”

  1. No way in hell am I putting this on my blog. Not after fielding complaints that a 1000-word story is not long enough. Readers are so demanding.

    They hired him because he was the best, because he had no remorse and he got the job done. He did the job, just like they asked, but after he did they were full of regret and recrimination. So he moved on, but not before he got paid and not before he tied up all the loose ends, like the pro he was.

    Happy Birthday a day late, Wendig! May you have many more such occasions to wear that fetching sequined party dress. And the lovely pointy hat as well, though maybe next year keep the trailing ribbons away from the candles.

    [If you blur your eyes and hold your head just right, a technique I have perfected, you might believe you see three stories composed of three sentences.]

  2. Once a unicorn a fair maiden did seek and find it one day she did as the stable boys were vigorously fellating the beasts horn with pupils wide. She stared in bewilderment at the action taking place before her but she was invited to join in(and as a princess she must always be stately). So as she slurped the horn, the hallucinogen entered her and took her on a wild ride so that from that day on all fun/wild things must suck unicorn.

  3. Andrew saw the line surge slightly so he pulled it up slowly. The octopus that held on to the piece of fish on the line was wrapped around a beer can. Andrew put the net in the water missing the ocotpus that let go of the bait and dropped the sea cold beer in the net, so Andrew grabbed it up and popped it open.

    Happy belated Brithday !

  4. “The king died and then the queen died” is a story. “The king died and then the queen died of grief” is a plot. The student chucked the textbook across the room and went to the registrar’s office to change her major.

  5. The sun had risen that day in a burst of pink and orange glory against faded blue, and he’d have never thought his day, his life would end this way. “No, of course not, I wasn’t even there,” is what he started to say to her, was in the process of saying, his lips still twitching. As his head hit the ground and his eyes faded out they glimpsed the last bit of purple sunset over the water’s edge, every bit as spectacular as the morning.

    Happy birthday (late, sorry).

  6. Beginning, Middle, End…

    How do you write an entire story in only three sentences? If you think that’s a tall order (or maybe even an impossible question to answer) you should re-calibrate your expectations and try writing a story in only six words. Both can be done but …

  7. On Passive Voice:

    The command codes were given; passive voice hides process, avoids prosecution and persecution or so I was told.

    The verdict was rendered; swift and decisive justice, even if I never faced my accuser or got to call witnesses in my own defense.

    The blade was dropped; the death blow delivered and yet, somehow, no one was ever to blame.

    Two more entries here: http://wp.me/pdqel-14Z

  8. If the bluebirds are blooming by morning, they’ll fill the houses nailed to the fence within minutes. Two creeks join sources underneath the bridge and babble like half-born moonshine. We’ll figure out a way somehow, and though this will not really be ours, at least we can stay for a while.

  9. Loving him is like falling asleep with a lion in the bed; those thoughts repeat like skipping stones in the zero gravity cockpit of my mind Every Fucking Night. He slips in between the sheets, our air laden with his winter silence, and I almost open my mouth to say the thing (I hope to god) we’re both thinking.


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