Pretty straightforward — given that we’re in the long haul of National Novel Writing Month, feels like a shorter, sharper flash fiction contest deserves to be in play. What does that mean?
It means I want you to write a single story in three sentences. The shorter those sentences are, the better. Remember: a story has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
It is not merely a vignette — not simply a snapshot in time.
You can deposit this story in the comments below.
Due in one week — by Friday, noon EST.
I’ll pick three random participants on that Friday and will toss each winner a copy of my newest writing e-book, 30 Days in the Word Mines. (A book that has been described as an advent calendar for NaNoWriMo, which is a description I quite like.)
Get to writing.
Short as you can make them — clarity and brevity are king.
263 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: The Three-Sentence Story”
[…] wasn’t planning on doing Chuck’s challenge this week, but then Veterans day happened and I was thinking about my Grandpa because he will be at […]
His family gathered by his bedside to celebrate his life and to send him on his continuing journey in the next life. As he was drifting away, he let the loving sounds in the room drown out the bombs and screams he still heard when he closed his eyes. He was finally at peace.
He knew that if he left she’d get to keep the dog and the coffee maker. Latent anger hung over their heads in the tiny kitchen like low clouds blocking out the sun. But he loved that fucking coffee maker.
She sits, she stares. I watch her silently from afar. She comes hard–or at least, I imagine her coming. I can only glare.
In retrospect, that second to last period was supposed to be an em dash. That’s what I get for posting whilst drunk.
Night fell and down in the cellar a lid creaked open. It was time to feed once more. Van Helsing reached forth, a large steak in hand. “Nice,” he said, before dropping the freezer door shut and heading back upstairs to light the grill.
OK, so technically that’s 4 sentences but I don’t care – that’s great.
She travelled almost literally to the end of the earth where the stars are said to intersect, perhaps emulating the arms of lovers parted by oceans of grief, regret and, finally, resignation. But as sun and shadow shifted and time itself crumpled like a damp, twisted tissue, she came home again both before and after her last wistful goodbye.
And so nothing at all ended that was meant to, and the world kept turning in vain.
Wow, I really like this. Your last sentence is haunting.
The world fed and sheltered the millions of refugees that made sudden landfall all along the Pacific Rim. They wore strange clothes and spoke a language outside of all known groups, and drew us maps of terra incognita. Once they learned our languages, and us theirs, we had no choice but to systematically terminate them and pour their ashes back into the ocean from whence they came.
ok, yes, I would like to know what justifies genocide
Yeah, me too.
perhaps they turn out to be zombies? Or Old Ones? I can only think of fictional reasons.
I definitely had something fictional in mind. The fact that they came from an unknown place in the Pacific hints at that. It could have more to do with what they were fleeing rather than what they are.
Gonna fall back on unspeakable horror. Because, as was pointed out to me, “unspeakable horror” is a relative thing. For Lovecraft, a mixed-race same-sex marriage would be unspeakable. That would instantly give us layers of meaning. If some unspeakable horror could trace the life force of the refugees, and thus bring upon the world a final doom…
Born into bondage. A life fighting on all fronts. Dying a free man.
Also doubles as a haiku. 🙂
Man was born, but he knew not when, for he was busy cutting woods and wandering what all that was. In a blink, he built buildings, for he wanted money to live by the rules he put on himself. Man died, and in the last of his second, he still didn’t know, why, all this.
Vanni looked up at the one remaining flight of stairs before him. Human sacrifices traditionally took place on highest ground; the Aztecs had done so. He swallowed hard, lifted his chin and began climbing.
Riding the subway late at night was always the ultimate drawback to staying this late at the office. But why did there have to be the odd looking one in my car watching my every move? And why, when I get off the train, is he speeding up his pace as I try to do the same?
[…] On his blog, where he usually posts Friday writing exercises, sci-fi/fantasy writer Chuck Wendig recently made another call for three-sentence stories. […]
[…] Say what?! Yeah. I wrote a story in three sentences. You may be thinking, ‘Gee, Sarah, that’s easy.’ But, it’s not. It’s incredibly difficult, actually. I got the idea from Chuck Wendig’s site TerribleMinds. […]