Friday, December 23, 2011

Friends & Flash Fiction

I've been dabbling in flash fiction as an exercise. To increase the challenge, I decided to begin each attempt with a sentence provided by someone else.

I tackled using writing prompts found online, but for some reason they didn't jog me enough. When you're provided a list of a hundred first sentences or prompts and can pick and choose which one to utilize, it's easy to just glance at a prompt, say, "Nope! Can't think of anything for it." and move on to the next. Plus, the fact that some random person posted a random prompt for anyone to use makes it so . . . impersonal. I felt no desire to meet the challenge.

So I tried something different. I asked friends to each provide the first sentence of a story. When the replies came in, my brain finally chugged into action. These were prompts by people who knew me. They were curious to see what I came up with, thus providing me with accountability. They produced prompts specifically for Paul Maitrejean. All these factors gave me undeniable drive to accomplish the mission.

Sure enough: Despite work, kids, a pregnant wife, and other family drama, I managed to churn out roughly one short story a day. The friends who provided the prompts got a kick out of seeing their sentences turned into full stories. And I had a blast while building literary muscle.

I might end up making this a semi-regular practice.


  1. Fewer choices do make you think better. They've proved it in stores with too many choices on the shelves. Given only 1 choice like we had in Rachael Harrie's Platform Building Campaign, you get going or get left behind. You should follow her blog now so you don't miss next year's campaign. I came from twitter and it's nice to meet you. You can follow my blow thru my chocolate and books contest. Why is it only women seem to like chocolate? Or admit it?

  2. *hand goes up* I like chocolate! And I'm not ashamed to admit it! ;-)

  3. I've done the same thing and I really enjoy it!

  4. It certainly is a welcome break from the norm, isn't it? I'm gonna have to make it a regular practice.

  5. Great concept, my friend! I'm glad it worked for you1


  6. visiting your site with smile.