Flash Fiction Challenge: Time To Create A Character

This challenge is a little different. I like doing some different things here now and again, so — instead of writing a story, I want you to create a character.

You can create the character in whatever mode you choose, with the one caveat:

Keep it under 250 words.

Encapsulate the character in that limit.

You can use a story to highlight the character.

Or just a clinical analysis of who the character is.

You can decide what makes a good character and what goes into this.

Then, next week, you will offer that character up onto the altar of the next flash fiction challenge — folks may borrow your character and take them on a test drive through a new piece of fiction.

Dig? Dug? Good.

You’ve got one week.

Write it at your blog.

Link back here.

Due by Friday, 8/28, noon EST.


180 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: Time To Create A Character”

  1. This sounds fascinating, and also like a lot of fun. I haven’t participated in a while, and it’s time to drag myself out of my funk, and start interacting with the real world again. Thanks, Chuck! Does it matter if I go commando?

  2. I done did answer the challenge! It’s a short scene featuring a new made up character chickadee, someone with a lot of heart. The scene is a zombie apocalypse one, but if anyone picks this up they could put her in something completely different of course. Here it is:


  3. Ok this was tough since I immediately think of a character and immediately hold on to them like an overly attached mother at the kids first day of school. So here goes.

    Daniel is a normal sixteen year old school kid. He is kind, passionate and forgiving. He is often found defending younger students from bullies and tends to get in over his head when defending an underdog. There are many times he has been sent to the headmaster’s office with a black eye and a kid worst off than he. However he tends to hold back when he has the upper hand and takes most of the punishment for himself.

    That is until he moves town and starts a new school. Turns out his memories of his home town are false. Who he is or where he came from is in fact a mystery. Until he is visited by a stranger, he can’t place her but he thinks he recognises her face.

    She tells him that someone has stolen his memories and he will need to find his powers to get them back. The visitor calls him Mercy and says he is a very powerful god.

    Whether he grants mercy to his foes is up to him, gods don’t always give out their gifts to everyone after all.

    • “I immediately think of a character and immediately hold on to them like an overly attached mother at the kids first day of school.”

      Haha, yeah, that’s the hardest part for me too! Going off now to try to think of someone who doesn’t come with an entire story attached …

  4. That’s terrifying. *laughs* But I stand by what I said the last time I played this particular game: sharing is part of the process. And I’m curious.

    My current project is a big ol’ can of character soup, the social setting being a huge sprawling extended family, so a lot my flash fiction lately is backstory development on side characters. This particular guy, up to this point, has been nothing but a name on a gravestone and a family tree, so, fair game I guess.

    The Middle Brother

  5. Really Chuck!? Only 250? Man. I had a nice scene going on with about 350, but I had to cut some juicy rib meat from this one to get it under 250.

    Coreal hummed a light minor key melody. She opened a small black box that matched her dress and dark heels and began removing an array of medieval medical instruments. The prisoner watched. Coreal took out a long piece of wood sharpened to a point and set it on the desk. She opened a bottle and dropped four small items into her hand.
    The prisoner felt his fangs grow inside his mouth; garlic. He could smell it from across the room. Coreal walked to the prisoner. She lowered the contraption that kept him pinned to the wall, his arms spread wide like paintings of Christ.
    She gripped his head at the back and slammed it against the wall. When he opened his mouth she stuffed the cloves inside. It tasted like he was eating the core of the earth.
    He couldn’t swallow the cloves, so he rolled them to one side of his mouth.
    “Please” he cried, his eyes watering. “Please don’t do this!”
    “I know you’re talking” Coreal said, her back to him.
    “Yes!” he said. “Yes!”
    “But it doesn’t matter,” she continued. She turned around, placing a plague doctor mask on her face.
    “You see, while I know you’re talking, I can’t actually hear you. As a matter of fact, I can’t hear anything at all.”
    She slipped on rubber gloves, snapping them at the wrist.
    “Which means I won’t be able to hear how much this hurts.”

    ICYMI – Coreal is a deaf Vampire Hunter.

  6. Milady sipped her tea calmly, peering out at the landscape that lay beyond the balcony. Though she was not certain that the sky would clear up in time to take a walk, she was almost certain that the game was going well.

    “If you were actually serious about chess,” the man sitting across from her said, “you might spend more time looking at the board and less time gazing at the scenery.”

    “Never,” Milady snarled, looking across the table at her opponent. “You will never beat me at chess.”

    “I just did,” her opponent said. He adjusted his top hat ever so slightly. “Checkmate.”

    Milady’s eyes grew wide with shock. Hardly anyone beat her at chess, especially not a men, and especially extra-especially not men who owned white terriers rather than black poodles.

    “Well,” said Milady, “if we’ve finished the game, I suppose you can leave.”

    The man gave her a small smile, as if he were gloating. Milady was quite sure he was.

    “If you’re going to sit there and make rude remarks,” she said, “then you can leave at once.”

    Her opponent didn’t dare to mention that he hadn’t said anything at all. He had seen that glint in her eyes only once before, and it had spelled trouble. But he wasn’t about to leave.

    Milady threw the teacup at the man, who seemed to disappear as soon as it was thrown. If you looked closely, just as the hot liquid was splashing on the carpeted floor, you would have seen two birds, one black, and one white, chasing one another against the dark sky.

  7. I posted a link earlier, but maybe it’s easier to read these in the comments if we need to pick one for next week? Here’s mine:

    My father was an optimist, not a quality often found in Silicate-105 miners; when you expect to die of silicate-lung in your forties, why bother? But he wanted better for my sister Min and me. That’s how he got indebted to Liu Bai, the White Dragon of Zodiac Station.

    My father named me Jun. He told me it meant “supreme,” “talented,” and “handsome,” which is funny because I am none of these things. My only talent is twirling the Tsa Lin, the spinning top. I can make the top dance like it’s alive, jump over obstacles, and knock chute-scurries out of the air. A waste of time, Father called it. He wanted me to apply myself to my studies, like Min did. But I always found studying a chore.

    Father never shirked from chores. He worked twelve-hour days until the silicate dust rotted his lungs, like it had Mother’s. When Father couldn’t make the payments, Liu Bai was unexpectedly merciful, perhaps of the fondness he had harbored for my mother. He didn’t cut off Father’s hands, or even his thumbs; he didn’t throw us off the station. Instead, he offered to settle for a different form of payment: my sister or me.

    Father chose me.

    My Tsa Lin danced for Liu Bai after that, up to the day he threatened to break Min’s arm for defending Widow Hu.

    That’s when I made the Tsa Lin fly right in his face.

      • Thanks! Honestly, that’s how I originally envisioned it. 5 seasons, the first four taking place in different towns, with different supporting characters, and the fifth where she calls in all her favors to take on the series big bad guy.

        Of course, if it was TV, the first season would be mostly a stand alone arc with hints of the bigger picture, that would resolve neat enough if it didn’t get picked up for a second season.

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