Flash Fiction Challenges: Ten Little Chapters

Last week’s challenge: Somethingpunk!

This week’s challenge is simple in description, but perhaps complex in execution.

It is about pacing and arrangement.

A piece of flash fiction is usually treated in a certain way — it’s short, so it uses the brevity of the form to often capture a snapshot in time.

We’re going to open that up a little bit.

You still have 1000 words.

But you’re going to break that up into 10 chapters.

Now, ostensibly that works out to about 100 words per chapter, though variation on that is fine. However you see fit to make it work. The goal here is to maintain brevity but increase scope. Can you tell a larger story in a smaller space? Does breaking it up make that easier — or harder?

Otherwise, standard rules apply.

Any genre will do.

Post at your blog, then drop a link in the comments here to that blog.

Due by next Friday, March 28th, noon EST.

1000 words, split into ten chapters. Now write it.

199 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenges: Ten Little Chapters”

      • I typed up 10 separate chapters, saved them as that in a file called ‘Ten Little Chapters’, then opened a document and opened them up one at a time and cut them pasted them one at a time… it was frustrating and difficult, but it was worth it! 😀

      • Thank you Kathryn. I enjoyed the challenge. 😀 Just had to remember that each chapter was only 100 words; I tried to keep it to that and went over by a word or two… 🙂

    • I really like your story. You did a great job of the chapters. Nice pacing and very creepy. Though I have to agree with AJ’s comment on your blog, that you shouldn’t have spoiled that it was about a car. But nevermind, I think this is my favorite story of yours.

    • Wow, just wow. This one was crazy tough. I wrote the ten chapters at exactly one hundred words each per Chuck’s flash fiction prompt. I figured I would make this introduction a hundred words as well, just because I can. I had intended for this story to go a different direction, but well… Ya know. The origin of the chip assassin came from my buddy who happens to also be the main protagonist in my novella, Forlorn Hope. There are still plenty of cliches, goofy comedy and oh, did I mention cliches? This one’s for you Garret. Here’s Chip Assassin:


  1. Ooh, I like the idea. Reminds me of some of the formats I’ve seen used to write fanfic. Maybe I’ll actually remember to write something this week… missed the last week just because I lost track of time.

  2. Absolutely loved this Challenge.

    Here’s my Flash, “The Austrian Swirl”

    “I’d been stalking these streets for seven weeks before I found it: The Viennese Swirl, a priceless artifact crafted by the Hapsburgs and kept in the vaults of Hofburg Palace for over two hundred years. Guarded by laser sensors, a hundred cameras, two elite units and surrounded by a glass plate thick enough to take anything except a forty cal bullet point blank. For two hundred years it had been secure, right up until two months ago.

    That’s when I got the call.”

    Enjoy, little monkies. this one’s a real treat.


  3. As soon as I read this week’s challenge description, I though of the Nava Rasa. To quote Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rasa_(aesthetics):

    A rasa (Sanskrit: रस lit. ‘juice’ or ‘essence’) denotes an essential mental state and is the dominant emotional theme of a work of art or the primary feeling that is evoked in the person that views, reads or hears such a work.

    There are eight or nine or eleven Rasas, depending on who you ask. The commonest count is nine. So my story has ten chapters: one prologue and nine chapters representing nine Rasas.

    I gave myself two more targets:
    1. Each chapter will have exactly 100 words, bringing the total to 1,000.
    2. I’ll use the Rasas in the order that they are mentioned in The Natya Shastra.

    So here you go. My story of ten little chapters.


    What do you think?

  4. […] just wow. This one was crazy tough. I wrote the ten chapters at exactly one hundred words each per Chuck’s flash fiction prompt. I figured I would make this introduction a hundred words as well, just because I can. I had […]

  5. This one really hurt my brain at first. After a while, though, I started getting felt like the beginnings of a pretty cool story.

    ‘Isolated Incidents’ is comprised of excerpts from the journal of Gregory Titor, a man sent back in time by Project Well Spring to the end of World War 2. His primary question: Now that time travel has been achieved, why don’t we see any other time travelers here among us?


  6. I swear, I think Wendig and I are on the same wavelength. Tuesday on the way to work, I thought about a few story angles for a short story I wanted to write about a new character. By Thursday, I’d already jotted down the path the story would take.

    On Friday, Wendig posted this week’s flash fiction challenge. While the story is not as vignette-y as I had originally planned, it is told as I’d envisioned it on Tuesday. It clocks in at 980 words.


  7. I was going to pass and just write something random this week. Too hard. Too many sections for a piece this short. Pass. Then it hit me while I was taking my morning shower: you know what else has lots of tiny little chapters?

    Choose Your Own Adventures.

    Hence, “Don’t Forget The Milk.”

    As it turns out, writing Choose Your Own Adventures is REALLY FUCKING HARD. Went 300 words over but not inclined to trim anything because it would kill the flow of the game.


    • Holy crap. I absolutely loved this. Did the same thing I do with all CYA books — read through several times so I could explore everything — and was perfectly delighted.

      Totally entertaining. 🙂

      • I’m glad you enjoyed it. Also, I just noticed I was missing a win condition: milk, but no bread. Curses, now it’s even MORE over the 1000 word limit. But structurally complete.

        Anyway, it was fun (and weird) to write, more like programming than fiction. I had to diagram it before I could even start writing. It really makes you respect the original CYA authors we grew up with. I can’t imagine what structuring an entire 200 pg YA CYA book must have been like, particularly before computers.

      • Thank you kindly! I have linked my story to the Wikipedia page for those that visit to read. I find Kelpies brilliantly creepy in the way that only Gaelic/Celtic folklore can produce. I’m pleased you enjoyed your visit!

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