Flash Fiction Challenge: Your Very Own Space Opera


Okay, first up, some administrative duties —

IT IS TIME TO NAME THE WINNER OF MY FAKE AFTERMATH SPOILERS CONTEST.

It was very hard to pick just one. So I have picked three. Those three are:

Ryan Allen:

Salacious Crumb, Jabba’s pet, indeed crawled maimed from the Sail Barge wreckage, going on to create a vast clone army of himself known as the Knights of Crumb.

Brandon Sparks:

Final Scene:

Wedge steps into his apartment on Rebel-occupied Coruscant. Weary from defeating the true villain (a 30-meter tall, weaponized Gonk droid piloted by the mind-controlled, reconstituted corpse of Jek Porkins), he tosses the keys to his X-Wing on the side table and reaches for the light switch.

The lights flicker, then fade.

Surprised, Wedge looks up to see a hooded figure standing across the room, silhouetted against the Coruscant cityscape. The figure speaks.

“Mr. Antilles, you’ve just stepped into a whole new galaxy. You just don’t know it yet.”

The figure turns and lowers the hood of his tattered Jedi robe, revealing a gleaming bald head and an eyepatch.

“My name is Mace Windu. I’m here to talk to you about the Lobot Initiative.”

Nick Nafpliotis:

Thrawn & Mara Jade make a cameo as nomads on Tatooine before being run over by a rogue podracer dubbed ‘The Canon.’

You three? EMAIL ME. Terribleminds at gmail dot com. Gimme your addresses, yeah?

Now.

Time for this week’s challenge.

It’s a simple one, and based off the fact that it’s been a very Star Wars-flavored week for me…

You should write 1000 words of space opera.

That’s it. Them’s the only rules. One genre. One story. Flash fiction. Normal rules apply: write it at your online space, link back here, due by next Friday (the 18th) by noon EST.


101 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: Your Very Own Space Opera”

    • Thanks for the link! I ended up going on an Amazon binge when I saw the book recommendations, because the ones I’ve read from the list are some of my favourite books ever. Here’s hoping to find new ones. (I did end up getting the first books of the recommended series instead of the ones featured, just because I hate jumping in at book 15 . . .)

      • I’m glad the link helped. I found that gold nugget when I was looking into genre writing. It was interesting to see how they set certain books into particular genres, and it definitely gave me (as it seemed it did to you as well) more books to read.

  1. I’m happy for your success Chuck, but saddened by the reality that one day, maybe soon, maybe not so soon, you’ll be too busy to continue to tame the Behmoth that is Terribleminds, and the updates will become as infrequent as a JaJa Binks fan. When that day comes I’ll shed a tear: salty and sweet.

    Anyhoo, off to cram a space opera into a thousand words…

    • This really captures the soul of a space opera. You have a great set up here. There are some run-on sentences you might want to fix. I say they can be used in some cases, especially to convey breathless pacing or a character’s thoughts that race or run on.

    • Cute ending! I like the AI personalities, especially the conflict between JJ and Deuce. Would’ve liked to see more of Deuce’s inner life here? What was she up to before being interrupted by the attack? How does she feel about causing the deaths of everyone on board that other ship, even if they wanted to kill her first?

      Also, there are some problems with paragraph break points during dialogue that make it hard to tell who’s speaking. For example:

      “I was thinking it was pleasant to talk to another intelligence. Harmon’s is not much of a conversationalist. And most of the rest of them won’t interact. Sheila was different.” Deuce squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head.

      “Yeah, Harmon’s AI is a bit stiff, but that’s how he likes it.

      … Which makes it look like Deuce is saying the first line, since it’s tagged with her action. Instead:

      “I was thinking it was pleasant to talk to another intelligence. Harmon’s is not much of a conversationalist. And most of the rest of them won’t interact. Sheila was different.”

      Deuce squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head. “Yeah, Harmon’s AI is a bit stiff, but that’s how he likes it.

      So Deuce’s action is tagged to what she’s saying, not to what JJ is.

      • 1000 words doesn’t give you a lot of room for detail, does it? It was tough keeping to the limit. This may get expanded or included in a longer piece at some point.

        And, *sigh*, the dialogue. Yeah, getting that right is something I struggle with. It’s one of those things where *I* know what I mean, but…

        Thanks for the comments. They do help.

    • I liked it. But I’m a sucker for the military-flavored space opera myself. The tech terms were easy to follow and it’s clear what the “thing the character wants” is. I’d say you bitch blasted the challenge.

      • Thanks Janet! Glad you liked it. I’m curious, though. I’m unsure what you mean by “thing the character wants.” Are you saying Cricket’s motivation is clear? Or something else?

        • Didn’t want to give any spoilers, and “motivation” has become such a murky word, but yes, that’s where I was going. The concept is that your reader should always know what your character wants.

    • That’s kind of a fun variation on the assignment 🙂 And can any of us think of space opera without thinking of Star Trek?

      • ST is actually the first thing that pops into my head, as I’m much more of a Trekkie than a … what do Star Wars fans call themselves? … Anyway. I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

    • I thought that was an interesting twist to the heroic space opera. I do encourage you to work on polishing the prose more, even for flash fiction…I was distracted by places that read pretty rough.

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