Flash Fiction Tip #37 Writing Prompt Generator

A writing prompt generator is a wonderful to start your flash fiction. Playing with it these are the ten prompts it came for me, and I think I could start writing fiction from many of them. Here’s the link:

Give it a try.

-It was time to attack some fallen gods.

-I have a tale about education and a computer programmer.

-Oh, such complete madness and obsessed science!

-There is a story about the rain giggling.

-I would appreciate it if you call me Aaliyah – not that that’s my name.

-There is a story about growing up and a magician.

-Then came the supervillains.

-He survived the war by hiding in my library, but nobody knew that.

-I wanted to be a dragon, or that’s what they thought.

-There is a story about a lady.

For Fun– Try this fantasy story generator:

Flash Fiction Tip #36 Chuck Wendig’s Subgenre Boogie

Author Chuck Wendig sends out a weekly Monday morning Flash Fiction challenge. This one list from sub-genre he sent out on May 8, 2015. Could you write a from one of these subgenre categories? To subscribe to Chuck’s Blog look here:

Warning: Chuck occasionally has been know to curse from time to time.

Here are some subgenes:

Haunted House

Dystopia

Revenge

Zombie

Weird West

Body Horror

Grimdark Fantasy

Whodunit?

Military Sci-Fi

Comic Fantasy

Technothiller

Superhero

Erotica

Heist/ Caper

Alternate History

Parallel Universe

Noir

Time Travel

Demonic Possession

Mech Troopers Chapter Two: Awake Too Early

I wake up and ask, “Time? 10-36?”

My alarm clock says, “It’s zero four-thirty.”

I throw my pillow at the alarm clock. I say a few curse words.

My alarm clock says, “Incoming bogie.”

“Fuck off.” I’m going to get a few more minutes’ sleep. The lights come on. My alarm clock has decided to declare war on me. My alarm clock is going to die. I’m a mech driver. If I had a sidearm. I don’t have one. I have to improvise if I’m going to get more rack time. I have already spent the only pillow I have. My door opens. It’s my sergeant. It’s the alarm clock’s lucky morning.

“On your feet, pilot,” says Master Sergeant Hulka. He walks over to my bunk.

I get up and look over at Snowman. He’s still sleeping. Lucky. We had cleared The Big D. We still had a few days before we pushed south, to ‘The Battle of the Alamo.’ That’s not what the brass are calling it. They call it: ‘Operation Texas Freedom.’ Okay, us truckers we’re calling it, ‘Operation Santa Anna.’ How did that one go for Davy Crockett?

Hulka isn’t so bad, but when the Master Sergeant wants something done. He wants it done, yesterday. “I told the Captain we would have three functional mechs in our platoon when it’s time for the push, and three functional mechs we are going to have.”

It means I’m going back to work. “We only have one,” I say. “In the last fight, we only had two mechs. Snowman and me. Snowman’s mech is toast. Mine is fried. And we have been one trucker short for two months.”

Hulka says, “One problem at a time. Here’s your new pilot. Say hello to Frog.” Out from behind Hulka steps Frog with all of her gear. She isn’t big. She doesn’t look strong. But she has a look in her eyes. She’s a trucker.

“Now get up, and I want your mech operational by the end of the day.”

“10-4, Sergeant.” I put my feet on the floor. “I’m going to need some help.”

“Well, it’s a good thing you’ll have Frog and Snowman.”

“Thanks, Sergeant.”

Hulka smiles and turns to leave. I point to the empty bunk and Frog knows where to put her gear. So much for sleep.

Before he leaves. I ask, “We still need two more mechs. Where are you going to get ‘em?”

Hulka says as he shuts the door, “One problem at a time. A sergeant in this man’s army can only be expected to solve one problem at a time.”

I need to get moving. I say, “Snowman…Snowman gets your ass up. I’m going to need your help.”

Snowman has covered his head with his pillow and he says, “You suck, Bandit. You’re a real asshole sometimes. It’s your mech. It’s your problem. Go play grease monkey without me.”

Snowman will help me if I can get him out of his bunk. Maybe, he’ll help, but I’ll have to put some food in him first. Time to find a roach coach.

Chapter One – Bear Trap

There’s another radiation leak inside my cockpit, and I’m the pilot of this broken machine.

Situation normal…SNAFU. The mech’s computer shoots more anti-rad meds into my neck. The radiation will eventually kill me if the meds don’t kill me first. Mech pilots are not known to survive long. My heart rate is up, my blood pressure is higher, my vision is keener, and I think my sense of smell is even better. If I don’t kill more targets, I’m going to be toast. A dead mech. I know what burnt toast smells like; it’s going to smell like me.

h

There’s another radiation leak inside my cockpit, and I’m the pilot of this broken machine.

Situation normal…SNAFU. The mech’s computer shoots more anti-rad meds into my neck. The radiation will eventually kill me if the meds don’t kill me first. Mech pilots are not known to survive long. My heart rate is up, my blood pressure is higher, my vision is keener, and I think my sense of smell is even better. If I don’t kill more targets, I’m going to be toast. A dead mech. I know what burnt toast smells like; it’s going to smell like me.

Sniper. The icon flashes on my Heads-Up. I’ve found him, and he has found me. Shit. Our artillery was supposed to destroy him. The infantry was supposed to flush him out. The air strikes should’ve pulverized him. But the Smokey-Slash-Sniper has somehow survived them all. Mech versus sniper? On paper, the mech wins every time, but that’s on paper.

“Bear trap. Saigon Sally. Reverse.”

My mech understands me. The mechanical voice of my mech says, “Reverse. Fire. 10-4.”

The Army calls us mech Pilots, but we call ourselves: Truckers. Drivers. Long-Haulers. Lorry-Handlers. All mech pilots get the dirty work. We are the workhorses of any skirmish or battle, and none of us walk away from any fight with clean hands.

“Emergency, 10-33,” I say calling out. “Faster. Full Speed.”

My mech starts to fire the Vulcan machine guns in its arms. Laying down cover fire while finding someplace safe to park. I need shelter to get away from the greasy stuff. The M-91 guns quickly try to conserve ammo and now they only fire in spurts. Low ammo flashes in my Heads-Up. Along with the sniper and radiation symbols. All the flashing lights are giving me a headache. My vision is starting to blur. “Stop firing the guns!” I only have ten percent left on the ammunition. The Smokey hasn’t fired. I was full frontal and giving him my best money shot. I should be dead. I should be toast. I smell smoke. “Georgia Overdrive.” The walking gears disengage, but the momentum of the heavy machine keeps it moving backward. A fourth light is flashing in my Heads-Up: fire. It’s the power plant and it’s on fire. That means more radiation in here. “Disengage the reactor.”

“10-4,” says my mech. “Mech 214 approaching. Fifty meters away.”

Now I know why Smoky hasn’t fired. There’s another mech. Two against one. Odds in our favor. But my mech is broken.

“Reactor temperature is critical. China Syndrome. Core dump in ten seconds.”

“Wait. If we dump the core, Mech 214 will be toast. Greasy side up.” My legs are getting warm. I think blood might be coming out of my eyeballs. The reactor is only a meter from my backside. “Wait. One minute.”

“10-4.”

Mech 214 has Cledus Snow inside. Snowman. I say, “Snowman…Snowman. We’re in a bear trap, and it’s about to snap.”

214 stops. Raises its own M-91s. Too late. Smokey has an RPG. Uranium tip. It hits Mech 214 in the groin. That’s gonna hurt. Dead Mech. Snowman has ejected. He’s safe, but his mech is toast. It’s greasy. Odds are now even. Time to play an old-school video game. “Big M, let’s put the hammer down.” The Smokey is exposed. He’s made a mistake. My mech is now running. I don’t know how many meters she will go before she breaks down. I see Smoky. He’s exposed. He’s a lot lizard. Engine lights are flashing in my eyeballs. “Ramming speed.”

The Smokey is trying to reach for another RPG. Too late. My mech, she’s a big girl, and she likes to play Frogger. Dead Smokey. Her oversize feet squash the bear.

All the bells and whistles are flashing on my Heads-up. Everything has failed. I say, “Eject me and dump the core.”

“10-4, good buddy,” says my mech before she loses all of her power. Mech 118 has shut down. She’s a deadhead.

End of Chapter One

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Tip #35 Write a Haiku

I kill an ant


and realize my three children


have been watching.

-Kato Shuson

Haikus are not your traditional type of story telling and a poem isn’t a prose. I think Haikus still tell a story. Five-Seven-Five give a try.

Here’s another famous Haiku…

An old silent pond…

A frog jumps into the pond,

splash! Silence again.

 -Basho

5-7-5

Haikus are traditional written in three lines with five syllables in the first line. Seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line for seventeen syllables.

If you are unsure on hw many syllables are in your haiku you can check here:

There is also the untraditional haiku of eleven syllables of 3-5-3 per line.

Haikus are also thought of as nature poems, but for us flash fiction writers, I think we can be a bit more liberal take it anywhere it needs to go.

I even once even wrote a description of a haiku as a haiku:

I like brevity. 

Ed said, ‘Write short. It’s better.’

I said, ‘Okay, Ed.’

Try one, it might be your cup of tea. 

Tip #34 Write a Vignette

A vignette is a slice of life story. It’s not complete and it will leave the threads hanging. As I move further along my writing career I have an appetite for them. I want to read them, and it doesn’t matter to me if the story is complete. While other readers want to know everything about a character and how the story will end. I find myself only wanting to catch a glimpse of story and the life of a character. For us authors if we write it well, our readers will never forget our story.

Some famous examples of vignettes can be found here:

And a wiki article on how to write them here:

Tip #30 Write Shorter and Shorter Stories and then try Longer and Longer Stories

I am going to try to make a story by just make it shorter and shorter each time (Yes, I’m making this up on the spot…forgive me).

‘I dated him yesterday, and he’s love is gentle and kind,’ said Mary

‘Love is gentle and kind,’ said Mary.

Love is normal and kind.

Love is kind.

Love is.

Love.

Now, I’m going to change direction and add to a word. Of course, I picked the word hate because it’s the opposite of love. Now expand on a word. (I am making this up as I go.

Hate.

Is hate hurtful and unkind?

Just ask the….

I’m stuck

That didn’t work. Okay, I’m try another word off the top of my head.

Alligators

Alligators bite at my ankles. I could cry out in pain, but instead I make them exotic boots.

Okay, I really don’t like the story the way it is right now. One more attempt…

Alligators bite my ankles. I cry out because I now have exotic boots.

A little better, but it still needs work…not too bad for two minutes of my time. Give it a try. I know you can write better alligator story than me.