Last week’s challenge: “Choose Your Setting.”
I love it. Totally bizarre. Utterly unexplained.
Probably something boring, but that’s not our area of expertise.
We are writers and storytellers. It is our job to explain. And more importantly, to make stuff totally awesome. So, your job is: write a ~1000 short story of any genre including and explaining this weird little web-towers. You’ve got till next week to get it done, due by Friday the 13th at noon EST. Write the story at your online space, link back here so we all can read it.
Include it. Explain it (to whatever degree you are comfortable). What is it? What made it? Where does it come from? What is its purpose? What madness is this?
Go forth and write.
See you on the other side.
95 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: WTF Is This Thing?”
Interesting challenge this week.
I really wanted to do something special for this one so you had to wait until Saturday. I think at 1067 words it was worth the wait:
You really packed a lot in for the 1000 words. I thought it told a good story and developed the characters pretty well before the reveal at the end.
The reveal was the most difficult. I’m glad you liked it!
Wow. I agree with jreinmiller – you pack in a lot for only 1000 words. I’m not half so economical 🙂
I especially liked the time-skips. Usually I find them really awkward. Here they work well though, giving us little snippets of Ojai’s life.
I’m glad you like it! Originally I had envisioned the mother trying to hide her pregnancy because she was certain her baby would be a boy, but it ended up unessisary for the story.
Ha, great minds think alike. I openly mused on twitter today that someone needed to use this as story fuel. 🙂
Hmmmm, I’m sure my highly caffeinated brain can think of something… Think, damn you. Think!
“Caffeine and Righteous Indignation.”
You and I both know you are not that sorry.
I second the notion of the disingenuous apology.
Really enjoyed your piece! The dialogue was snappy and I loved the idea that this was some other sentient life form putting on a show to mess with the humans.
My one criticism is putting laughter into your dialogue. Having a bunch of laughter written out in capital letters was pretty uncomfortable to read in my opinion. Your piece doesn’t use anything but dialogue so that poses a challenge, but is it possible to achieve the same effect through more clever use of dialogue?
thanks for the suggestion. Perhaps a revised version later this week if I have a moment…
Nice concept. It was cool to see someone go in a very different direction on this one. I thought it worked well.
Thanks! It was hard to resist spiders, but I have it my best effort.
Nice piece. I think the opening is especially solid. The back-and-forth dialogue is really good there.
Thanks for creeping me out…this makes the hairs on my arms stand on end:0
Okay… I’ve written a story that’s kinda weird. But the article said it might have been built by a butterfly – so I went with that. I did a painting called ’18 Butterflies’ and had to find out about the critters… they can’t see and are mostly deaf. So, they see through their feet, hear through their antenna and fly through wind currents through the hair on their bodies… amazing little creatures. Amazing as most butterflies have a life span of 3 days to 2 weeks… 🙂
Mozette. This is well-written. The plot is just the butterfly laying its eggs, but it flows really nicely. I enjoyed it. Good job!
Thanks! I saw it and thought ‘butterfly’ immediately before reading the article. 😀
It took a bit getting the description right though 😛
Beautifully written. It never would’ve occurred to me to write this completely straight and non-genre.
[…] HERE. Chuck Wendig posts writing prompts/flash fiction challenges each week. This one is particularly […]
[…] There is a great new challenge from Chuck Wendig, I highly suggest that fellow writers check it out and give it a go- http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/09/06/flash-fiction-challenge-wtf-is-this-thing/ […]
Scratched out dire, and inserted whimsy this week. Had fun writing it. Here you go.
awesome! very fun read.
Clever and very creative. Using the web tower as a music venue was a really enjoyable way of looking at it that hadn’t occurred to me previously. The dialogue between Cray and Landsy was really enjoyable as well. Cray played the part of a curious onlooker very well, and poor Landsy was hardly able to derive any kind of pleasure from her work after the numerous setbacks the project faced.
I loved the concept and the ending. Awesome!
Nicely done! I have a similar (ish) idea in mind, but I love how yours was executed. And the ending – pitch perfect!
Thanks for the kind words. Glad to see some people enjoyed what I scribbled down. 🙂
I have to admit, I took one look at that link and went “Post-Modern Faerie Ring” so that was spot on. Landsy’s “foreman-like” attitude and dialogue is fun, as well.
Tiny little concert venues. This wouldn’t have been first second, second or probably two-hundredth guess what this one was going to be about. Very awesome. 🙂
Loved the mythological integration. Good fun!
Just wrapped up some minor revisions on my piece. These flash fiction challenges are really great for helping me get back into the habit of writing. Thanks for putting these together.
Hah, cute. I enjoyed the characterizations and the revelation at the end. Nice story.
Thanks for the feedback!
[…] Wendig runs a weekly Flash Fiction challenge at his blog Terribleminds. This week’s challenge is to explain this strange weblike thing found in the jungles of Peruvian Amazon. This is my […]
This is the first story I have ever finished. I am inordinately proud of the fact, even though it is only 1,000-word long.
Hope you enjoy.
I liked it. 🙂 Very alien and abstract, but still solid so that it got the story and characters across. Keep it up.
Congrats on the your first story! You do a pretty good job with getting a mood across, as well as Vij’s varied fears.
What a wonderful story for your first one ever. Congrats! I like the inner dialog of Jenkins, and his interactions with the boy-king.
You seem to have – er – confused my story with Mike’s. 🙂 I did not write remotely as well.
My apolgies, my wordpress app on my phone opened Mike’s story instead of yours.
However, I made the effort to go and read your story on my laptop instead of my phone. I enjoyed it a great deal. A man put in a position he didn’t care for, made to do things he wasn’t used to. It was very good. Much more creative than my own post this week.
A lot of us took fantastical, or strange directions on this, so I’m glad someone went with a straight up story explaining these little mysteries. I especially liked the ending explaining why humans hadn’t seen them before.
Argh, stupid miss post. *shakes fist in general direction of blog gremlins* This was for Mozette’s story.
[…] it’s a writing challenge piece! This one is for Chuck Wendig’s current writing challenge, which basically asks writers to include and explain these things in the […]
I’ll bite. Here’s mine: http://erinmjustice.com/2013/09/08/flash-fiction-fairy-rings/
Good story. I really liked the siren comment slipped in there.
Interesting challenge this week.
You used some very vivid, and creative descriptions in this. I like the concept reminds me a bit of Poe.
[…] week, Terribleminds tasked us with identifying the structures described in this Wired article. They are beautiful and […]
This turned out interestingly.
Reports from the Surface
[…] sorry, ya it’s time for another Chuck Wendig writing prompt story. So this week he posed the question “WTF is that thing?” Of all the things to […]
My contribution to this week’s challenge.
I found the language of the ending a bit confusing in the way it turned, but a good idea for the prompt.
[…] Chuck Wendig flash fiction challenge accepted. The challenge for those too lazy to read it was to write a story inspired by this amazing […]
Perhaps not the most original idea, but I had fun writing it, and if people have fun reading it, that’s what really matters, right?
I liked its simplicity. Sometimes too many complications ruin a story. Good idea. Left me wondering about the others though.
Hard Bitten Crime Drama: http://3countylaugh.tumblr.com/post/60822043864/down-and-out
In my usual “it’s about the atmosphere, not the story” style, 380 words.
“miniaturized and and thrown into the puffball prison” I’m laughing out loud here. This is great stuff. 🙂
Here’;s my go at it…
[…] lovely, ie horrible, challenge from Chuck Wendig at terribleminds.com. This week we got an article to a strange net/web/thing that is stumping scienctist across the […]
Mine ended up a little horrorish, though mostly realistic. Not sure how I feel about it. I dislike horror as a genre in pretty much any format.
Gross! I think it’d be great if he burst into chunks and wherever one landed, a little white ring started to grow. 🙂
Not a bad idea. Could have been fun, if I thought of it.
Light paranormal fantasy with an Australian outback setting and some fey lore. Story was 1k exactly and this is as near to first draft as it comes. I love these challenges 🙂
Oops, nearly forgot the link: http://cmsimpson.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/flash-fiction-challenge-choice-of-colour.html
I liked that you turned part of it into a love story. 🙂
Also, silly blogger made it hard to comment. 🙁
Nicely done. I liked the transference angle and the glimpses we get into the alien thought processes.
[…] this week’s challenge was to write a story explaining a current scientific curiosity: long-story short, someone down in […]
“The Black Mangrove”: http://nickegelhoff.com/2013/09/12/flash-fiction-challenge-wtf-is-this-thing/
980 words. Spring-heeled Jack, Bloody Mary, Pecos Bill, and a bunch of fucking parrots.
I honestly didn’t think I’d get much out of this one. The answer hit me while I was taking a shower a few days ago, hard enough to make me laugh out loud when it came to me. 🙂
“The Spider’s Spire” – http://www.humming-rain.com/2013/09/12/the-spiders-spire/
Hope you all enjoy it! Let me know what you think. 🙂
I like the idea of it as a warning!
Also, sorry for being so late to the game. This summer has been nuts.
[…] http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/09/06/flash-fiction-challenge-wtf-is-this-thing/ […]
This is me tipping my hat to The Blue Blazes.
The White Fire: http://benjaminryant.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/flash-fiction-thursday-the-white-fire/
[…] Wendig, that little mold-breaker he, has broken the mold this week in his Flash Fiction Challenge. Instead of a randomly being given a setting or a title or a set of […]
“Identity Theft” A little long. At it’s core I think there’s a good idea but I’m not sure I did a good enough job with it. As always, any comments and constructive criticisms are appreciated.
Gaaah! “Its”, not “it’s”!! Damn, it’s late…
A Cocoon of Madness
This might be a little on the dark side….
Oops, I nearly forgot to post my link. I saw this and it immediately reminded me of someone else’s tale, probably in the 1960s. Here’s my version of what happened: The Next Generation…
[…] Link to the writing prompt. […]
The second short story I’ve ever finished, and my first flash attempt.
[…] is this week’s flash fiction. The prompt is again from Chuck Wendig, this time to write 1000-ish words about this awesome little […]
Skidding in with an hour and a half left. 738 words.
I think I felt like your Korin, closing in on the wordcount. You really captured that moment of desperation, then confidence.
Loved it! In such a short time you really had me cheering for Korin. Good job, great story.
[…] Last week’s challenge: “WTF Is This Thing?“ […]
[…] believe, unidentified) structure, brought to my attention by the latest flash fiction challenge at terribleminds. This entry was posted in Friday flash, science fiction on September 13, 2013 by […]
I am late, I know, but this one took a while to come to me. Damn muse.
It’s called Spinner. Hope you enjoy it!
awesome! loved it.
Thank you! 🙂
[…] week’s TerribleMinds Flash Fiction Challenge: WTF is […]