Last week’s challenge: “ABC Meets XYZ“
This week’s challenge (up a couple days late since for some reason again WordPress borked me on a Friday where I was gone from the house, grarrrgh) is pretty simple: in the tradition of Don Draper, Tony Soprano, Walter White, or even my own Mookie Pearl (hint hint), it’s time to write a bit of flash fiction featuring a bad dad. These fathers fit on the lower more sinister echelon of the D&D alignment chart. The question is: can you also make them sympathetic?
You’ve got 1000 words.
You’ve got (less than) a week: due by Friday the 21st, noon EST.
Write at your online space.
Link back here.
Go and write.
80 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: Bad Dads”
Does it have to be fiction or could I write about my own personal experience?
Okay… not that I had this story all sorted, but I’m on a bit of a roll with my writing at the moment… and I’ve been in a violent relationship in the past. So, I pulled some of the experience I used to have with my ex-bf into it… mainly the screaming to and fro… not so much the making up…
I thought this was a great story, very sad how your protagonist gets stuck in a self-perpetuating cycle of anger and negative thoughts. I definitely think it would be even better with more words; there was so much raw emotion that I felt restricting it to the word limit didn’t do it as much justice as needed. And I do hope you’re away from that sort of violent relationship now, as it sounds terrifying and stifling.
Oh, yes, I am now… it’s been such a long time since he and I were together; and yet I can tap into the violence he used to conflict on me all those years ago. And, you know, he started out being such a lovely guy when we began going out and turned into the Jekle & Hyde syndrome when we moved in together… then he used entrapment to keep me. It was horrible but I got out of it with the help of my family.
I know what to look for in relationships now… and that guy isn’t it.
May your future be bright, in spite of the darkness of the past.
Its a good story Mozette, that you write with a real experience in mind is very obvious, and makes the story more poignant.
Thanks for your feedback Trine. I’m pleased it struck a nerve with you. I don’t come from a violet background with my family. My Dad is a great guy… very loving and kind. As you know from the above reply to Mr Urban Spaceman, I’ve had one horrible experience with a violent man who was supposed to love and protect me (a boyfriend) and that kind of thing sticks with you for a long time.
[…] Friday Sunday and time for another Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction Challenge! This week’s topic: Bad […]
I’ll admit, this is completely outside my realm of personal experience, so I feel a bit of a charlatan even taking part, but I’ve recently been writing about a character who’s not had a great life so far, and wanted to delve more into some of his earlier history. So, I’ve given it my semi-best effort: Her Dying Wish
Very well written, and a great idea on using that perspective. I thought you managed to nail sympathy for both father and son.
First off, I don’t think that just because you have no personal experience in this, you can’t bring a story to the table. It is all in the imagination.
I like your story, though I struggle with finding Brad Milton sympathetic, even if he realizes his mistakes. But I suppose that is just my unforgiving nature sticking its head in.
Thanks, Trine, I’m glad you liked the story! 🙂 To be honest, I really wanted another 200-300 words for this one, both to show the depth of the violence aimed at Wayne, and to show Brad’s feelings of helplessness and his frustration… but I wasn’t willing to sacrifice the Skrimmers for it. Cheers for reading!
[…] This week’s TerribleMinds flash fiction challenge: bad but sympathetic dad. […]
My offering. Please be warned it may be trigger-y with some folks. Read with caution, please.
Interesting direction on this one. A bad dad, and a dad willing to become bad. The supernatural element gave it a spin, but you left a story intact that anyone could relate to. I liked it.
Thanks very much! I figure the goal of “urban fantasy” is the magical firmly entrenched in the almost-real, nice to know I’m headed in the right direction.
Really…on Fathers Day?…Mr Wendig has a quaint sense of humour does he not. (Ah, well. I know I’m participating, so I should really be quiet)
It’s been a while since I did a long-ish zombie thing, so here we go.
I liked the feel and pacing of this one, the way you let the story play out and get more ominous as it went. I also enjoyed how you left a lot of things subtle and didn’t hit the reader over the head with them. Well done.
Great story, the narrative just pulled me along seemlessly, I really wanted to know what was going on, and was not disappointed.
Thanks very much 🙂
[…] lined up too, start working on that tomorrow. The new writing challenge has been set by Chuck at http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/06/16/19188/; with fathers day in mind, it’s a 1000 words about a bad dad. I’ll be attempting to […]
Here’s my take below:
Excellent job on this piece. The concept was smart and I thought the writing style fit the kind of inconsistent perspective a child might have. At least it worked for me. Really great slow reveal until the end as well.
Thanks very much. First time I’ve ever written something like that.
[…] 17, 2013 by youcakeordeath I decided to take the point of view of the child in this piece, for http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/06/16/19188/ flash fiction challenge. Again it’s slightly over 1000 words, but close enough. Please […]
[…] Flash Fiction Challenge from Chuck Wendig. I’m blessed to have a Father that is nothing like the one we were supposed […]
I’m rather glad I waited until after Father’s Day for this challenge. http://secondstaronther.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/trailers-and-tailgates/
Well written. I thought your descriptions really pulled the reader in, so they felt the scene as it played out.
Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed it.
Great story. I loved the dialogue, and as jreinmiller said, the descriptions are really good.
Thank you so much—for reading and for the compliment! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
having trouble posting, hope I don’t double post…
Little too close to home. Apologies, but I must gracefully bow-out from this challenge. I’ll be here fro next weeks challenge though. 🙂
I’ve tried to submit a link to my blog, but it isn’t showing up. Does it have to be approved first, or am I doing something wrong? Obviously, first time submitter here so forgive my ignorance.
The same here. You’re not the only newbie attempting to “linkup”. I thought I was having browser issues. Could still be having browser issues. I’ll give it another attempt. If this turns up duplicate for whatever reason, I’m sorry.
argh, very frustrated, maybe this is a sign that I shouldn’t expose this work…
Nice shift in the middle of the story, and I thought you portrayed the emotions of the man quite well.
Thanks! I hope you enjoyed the read!
I just clicked on your name and that took me to your blog, so that worked. Not sure why the link wouldn’t show up.
So after reading your story all I can say is, whoa! That was like a bat to the side of the head. Crazy, gritty, dark content, but I thought it was well written, and it didn’t read disjointed to me, as you had questioned on your blog.
This was awesome! Loved the originality and your style immediately sucked me in. I will be looking out for your work again. My favourite part was the realisation that the dogs ate the kids hand!
glad you guys were able to find it. I’ve not submitted fiction of any kind to be read by others for years, glad it met with approval.
Hi all! I haven’t posted anything here before, but I hope you don’t hold it against me.
Well that was a heck of a curve ball, if a curve ball was the size of a bus… Wasn’t easy for me to come up with something, but I’m satisfied with what came out of the challenge. This may definitely be a touchy one for some people, but with the challenge, don’t know if it’s possible to get past that. Just a small warning for people.
Fascinating story as always. Poor Robert—I just KNOW he’s going to end up regretting that deal in the future, but I can definitely understand how torn he feels. What wouldn’t you do for someone you love? The whole story had a feeling of tense desperation that had me on the edge of my seat. Well done.
Great read! I didn’t want it to end! My fav line was the click on the phone line matching the click of the fingernails on the chips. I could hear it!
This is a great read. I would love to see the ‘extended version’ though I don’t feel something is missing from this version.
As I had a couple requests for it, here’s the “author’s revision”. Like many extended cuts it’s not dramatically different, but I feel like its fuller than the final version.
[…] Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: Bad Dads […]
[…] week’s prompt was to write about a bad father, but make the character sympathetic. I did what I could (though the […]
I don’t think I’m going to be able to complete this one.
I’ve done some brainstorming and, because I’ve been watching a lot of it lately, wanted to try this one as a spoken-word poem. But I keep stumbling and hesitating. Every time I try I just freeze up and start thinking about my own histroy.
Which has a lot to draw from, but I also don’t really want to use that because I’m on better terms with my family now. Give me this topic five-odd years ago and I would’ve torn it up! But now I’m right on the fence.
Any thoughts? I’d really like to have something for this but the topic is making me uncomfortable.
I can hear Chuck say something like “GOOD! You should be uncomfortable! Now take those heebie-jeebies and make them dance on your keyboard. Let them sex it up on the keys and make word babies!”
This is a hard concept for sure, and it is a tough situation to want to write something but not be able to get it out. I’d say any current relationships, and their status, are more important than a story, but if you really want to do something, maybe just do it for yourself. The challenge is the inspiration, there’s not a requirement for production. So maybe just doing it, even if you never release it, would be good to clear that stuck feeling. Just my two bits.
[…] week, Chuck’s challenge was to write a story about a bad dad, and make him sympathetic. There’s no doubt that Harry, […]
I tried to take this weeks challenge down the serious hard ass route, but I kinda lost sight of my original story when this (light hearted and possibly funny) one popped into my head. 🙂 It is still untitled.
I always enjoy your stories so much, and this one was no exception. I was wondering what was in the bag since it was first mentioned (my money was on murdered prostitute) so I was surprised when the truth was revealed. I do think there’s a small measure of sympathy to be found for the father; at least he’s doing bad things FOR her, and not TO her. As for a title, what about “Foiled by the Phone” 😉
Thanks Urban. 🙂 I am glad you liked it. Foiled by the Phone, is a great title, it reminds me of something, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what.
Ah, another great story. I figured something like that was coming, but the reveal was still great. Excellent twist, and I do think he’s sympathetic. I think that’s what every father wishes he could do to his daughter’s dates. Well maybe not the kill them and stuff them in a trash bag part, but the keep them safe from everything part. I was going to say ‘Taking out the Trash’ would be a good title, but that might give too much away so maybe ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’.
Thank you jreinmiller. The story was a play on my husband’s insistence that he will buy a shotgun, and keep suiters away once our daughter is old enough to date. Thank god getting a gun is almost impossible hehe.
I love your title suggestions, Taking out the Trash is great, but you are right, it would hint too strongly at the twist.
A little bit different kind of story, still fits:
Wow, that’s a twisted way to play out an apocalyptic story, but you wrote it well. For as dark as it was, I enjoyed the concept.
I am tempted to leave it like that, but that would be very ineloquent of me. I loved it. It’s dark, gritty, and felt so real my skin crawled. I love the indifference to the violence and the abject terror of it all.
I assume you meant to reply to my story? Thanks for the love, I’m kinda new here, so I appreciate it. It’s meant to be a seed piece for a much bigger thing I’m working on.
You assume right Jim, and I look forward to reading more.
I present a less-serious response to the challenge: Confessions of an Orc Dad https://david-coventry.squarespace.com/fiction/2013/6/20/bad-people-ii-confessions-of-an-orc-dad
Sometimes good dads go bad:
Just dashed off a short one – maybe 350 words. But it was fun all the same. http://www.ravensview.ca/ravens/2013/06/bad-dad.html
This was the most fun I’ve had writing anything in a long time. Thanks for the opportunity!
[…] http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/06/16/19188/ […]
My first try at flash fiction:
Okay, it’s kind of stretching it to put this one here. But the dad does figure in the story, a bit. It’ll go live in a little while, 10:30 my time, but if I wait, I’ll be asleep and miss my chance. . .
I couldnt do this one, I have problems fitting them in if WP hasnt posted your blog on time, sorry Chuck! But I did catch up on the Choose your Words one from a couple of weeks back: http://jemimapett.com/2013/06/21/the-legend-of-the-scarecrow-epidemic/
Maybe I’ll catch up this one another time.
Oh and thanks to your inspiration and getting me writing FF I’ve got into Flash Flood journal on the UK’s National Flash Fiction Day Saturday 22nd June! http://flashfloodjournal.blogspot.co.uk/
[…] A very late post for Chuck Wendig’s weekly challenge. My family vacation got me behind on all my writing. But it was worth it. This week’s challenge was to write about a bad dad, but make him sympathetic. Since, I grew up with an abusive father, it was pretty hard for me to write, but I enjoyed it. Wish the story was a bit more upbeat. Check out the contest here http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/06/16/19188/ […]
Crazy late for me, but here’s the story. It was challenge to write one cause I was on vacation with no internet. Two because I grew up in with a bad dad, who is not sympathetic in the least. Not to me anyway. But, I managed. I’m pretty happy with the story overall, though its pretty depressing.
[…] Last week’s challenge: “Bad Dads.” […]
My version- http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8731382872631497570#editor/target=post;postID=3858543686805746359;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=0;src=postname
[…] Regrets” was originally written as a Flash-fiction piece for Chuck Wendig’s “Bad Dads” Father’s Day writing […]