Flash Fiction Challenge: Game Of Aspects, Redux

Last week’s challenge: “Write What You Know

It’s the Game of Aspects, and you know the drill.

Grab a ten-sided die or click over to a random number generator.

Choose three random numbers between 1-10.

That corresponds to a subgenre / setting / element to include.

Those are now the parameters of your story.

(So, you might randomly get: superhero / Titanic / love letter, for instance.)

You have — well, let’s up the numbers a bit. You have 1500 words.

Due by next Friday, March 1st, at noon EST.

Post at your blog or online space. Link back here in the comments.

Now go forth and randomize!


  1. Superhero
  2. Erotic Fairy Tale
  3. Sword & Sorcery
  4. Slasher Horror
  5. Bumbling Detective
  6. Time Travel Romance
  7. Zombie Apocalypse
  8. Parallel Universe
  9. Technothriller
  10. Magical Realism


  1. High school prom
  2. On board the Titanic
  3. In a vampire’s subterranean lair
  4. At the gates of the Garden of Eden
  5. A shopping mall
  6. A Martian greenhouse
  7. The capital city of a lost civilization
  8. A king’s throne room
  9. An amusement park after dark
  10. In the home of the gods

Element To Include

  1. Warring Families
  2. A Love Letter
  3. A Puzzle Box
  4. Elves
  5. A Talking Sword
  6. Artificial Intelligence
  7. A Mysterious Stranger
  8. A Lost Painting
  9. A Dream
  10. A Magical Pocketwatch


98 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: Game Of Aspects, Redux”

  1. Much to my dismay, my D10 chose the following: technothriller, in the home of the gods, warring families.

    I Tweeted my dismay to (at?) Chuck and received nothing but encouragement. I hope he’s happy. No… seriously. I really hope he’s happy. If he is, it likely has nothing to do with my story – but I shall tell myself it does nonetheless.

    My story is one thousand, four hundred, and seventy-eight words long (or thereabouts).

    This is my first published short story. It’s a big deal. Well… to me. (Holds breath.)


    • Your story is cool and has an interesting premise, but there are a couple of things that I kind of wanted to point out. The big thing that rankles me is the very first sentence, it’s awkward and it took me a couple of times- and a flick back to the top of the page mid-story- to clue in to what it was saying. I don’t know how much of this was just me being thick, but let me break it down and maybe I can articulate where it is I’m coming from.

      “The day Alex met a mermaid was unusual only for the fact that the person she was complaining too actually agreed with her”.

      I think the stumbling block for me here is “the person she was complaining to”. Call me a stickler for grammar, but I think this could be improved if it were written as “the person to whom she was complaining” (or heck, just crop it out altogether and say “James”, if you fancy). That seems like a really bizarre thing to nitpick about, but I think it really makes the sentence flow better. Take it or leave it, I’m just a dude with grammar hangups.

      It also wasn’t immediately clear (to me, at least) whether or not the person doing the complaining was Alex or the mermaid. Like the day was unusual because the person to whom the mermaid was complaining was agreeing with her, as though the mermaid complained a lot but usually not to sympathetic ears. I think this may have to do with the fact that the implication of the sentence is that the day wasn’t unusual because of the mermaid. I actually do like that, it nicely underscores how infrequently Alex and James are on the same page. Unfortunately, it took me a little while to suss that out, and I think that weakened the effect. I think it would be good to maybe emphasize it a bit, it would drive the point home and make the sentence a little clearer. Try this on for size as an alternative phrasing:

      “The day was unusual for Alex- not because of the mermaid, but because James was actually agreeing with her”.

      As with anything I say, you can take it or leave it, because I’m just a guy on the internet and my credentials are suspect at best and nonexistent at worst.

      All besides, the rest of your story is pretty on point. I like the non-traditional characterization of the mermaid, and the characters feel whole and fleshed out in spite of the word limit. The ending is a kind of out-of-nowhere gut punch, the kind of which I’m not a huge fan, but it’s a flash fiction so your mileage may vary on how strongly that can be counted against it. Good show, and carry on.

      • Thanks for the comments and for the suggestion on rewriting.

        Hmm, the revelation of the pregnancy is supposed to answer the question at the beginning about why Alex’s advisor is suddenly so unsupportive of her. Apparently that question was too subtle.

    • I don’t normally read zombie fiction and between the gruesome imagery and an unsympathetic main character I wasn’t sure I wanted to finish. I did want to see if the AI got it’s ‘final release.’ Nice job handing him a truly burdensome failure.

      Why doesn’t he just jump off a cliff? Why couldn’t he have used the guts of a monster?

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