Flash Fiction Challenge: A Story In Three Sentences

Last week’s challenge: Superheroes Plus!

This week’s challenge is an old favorite — one that’s easy to describe, yet difficult in execution.

I want you to write a single story in three sentences.

Not a snapshot. Not a vignette. A complete story. Beginning, middle, and end.

Three sentences.

Easy to half-ass — but challenging to execute with elegance and power.

But, life’s too short not to give it a go, so: you are challenged.

*throws down glove*

*fires starting pistol*

*Tasers you or whatever*


The way to do this is easy:

Go to the comments below and write your three sentence story directly into a comment. Shorter is better than longer — if your story hits 100 words, you might wanna rethink the length.

Think about plot, rhythm, character.

Contained in the small package of three sentences.

I’ll pick an unnumbered handful of ones I like, and to those I dig, I’ll toss digital codes for all my writing-related e-books (with the exception of The Kick-Ass Writer, which is not mine to automatically distribute for free).

You get one entry only. Multiple entries disqualifies you.

Some loose suggestions:

Check your spelling.

Don’t be cliche.

Read other people’s entries so you don’t replicate them.

Write it in a word processor first. Give it edits before posting.

Do not settle for mediocrity.

The story is due by next Friday, August 1st, at noon EST.


Okay, the winners are (correct me if I have this wrong):



Andrew F. Butters!

Martin Wells!

Ryan Nolte!

You folks:

Email me at terribleminds at gmail dot com. Congrats!

396 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: A Story In Three Sentences”

  1. She descended cautiously, spinning out line until she had a strand that could reach the anchor point.

    The moment she swung towards her target a dazzling light electrified the air and terrified her into hanging tight, hoping to survive.

    When safe darkness returned the spider reached again for the bloodied head she’d decided to tie her web to, but the man was gone now and she was alone in the tomb.

  2. Carson looked down at his shaking hands, at the blood, then looked back up at his mother’s face. “Mama?” he said, voice trembling. Not able to pull her eyes away from the body on the ground, his mother said, “Carson, what did you do?”

  3. Harold stood amongst the throng of people, staring down at the punctured body with a sick sense of pride that pulled the corner of his mouth up into a sneer. As he edged away from the scene, he drank in their shock, their disgusted mutterings, their grief for the dead man leaking red into the nearest gutter. Limping up the street, he fondled the knife in his pocket, fingered its clean blade and snarled; he would never be strong enough to make his own art, he would always be the pretender.

  4. Here is one that not only fits this challenge, but I entered it in a 7 word challenge, originally a 6 word Hemmingway challenge, but I added “The” for the 7 word challenge. Here it is-

    The world ends. Whimpers fade. Earth continues.

    I decided to make each sentence the chapters of a short story, and it worked well. The three sentence challenge is amazing for writers, as each sentence can be the beginning of a chapter for a short story or novella, elaboration intended.

    • In college, my first senior fiction assignment was to write a few one-sentence stories. It as the first time I ever attempted to limit the wordiness of my storytelling. I love these flash style exercises, too.

  5. I come from a yellow house at the base of a mountain, the shadow of which left pockets of sunshine illuminating a few chosen homes. The day the man sat in his parked car, the house on the hill above was bathed in a warm golden light while the others remained in a cloak of rainy darkness. His car bomb would have lit up our house in a different kind of light.

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