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:

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

Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/Te7GT

For Sale Here: https://books2read.com/u/m2vlz7

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 #24 Give the Reader a Great Last Sentence

I have said it before and I will say it again. Leave the reader with a good ending to your story. It’s not going to be a twist then give them a great last sentence. Having a great last line in your story is a win for the reader and it’s also a win for you. 

More famous endings from great stories:

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

The Great Gatsby, F.Scott Fitzgerald

“After all, tomorrow is another day.”

Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

“He turned out the light and went into Jem’s room. He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.”

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

I know it’s easier said than done, but the last sentence is just as important as the first sentence. As a flash fiction writer you’re a fine craftman so give the reader your best work right until the end.

Tip #21 The Scream: Think Like a Painter and Capture the Moment

This is a famous painting by the Norwegian Painter, by Edvard Munch. He wrote in his diary in an entry headed “Nice 22 January 1892”, Munch wrote:

I was walking along the road with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.

The Scream – royalty free image

How many stories could you write from this one painting? Is one good painting worth a thousand stories? This painting takes one moment from the artist’s life and he paints on his canvas. It’s the right moment, and it’s the perfect moment in the story. 

For your story, find one moment and make it into a perfect painting inside your brain. Then you can write your own story from the painting in your mind.

The Scream from wikipedia:

Tip #19 No Long Winded Introduction

Info dumps. I hate them. Sometimes just because the writer knows everything about the world. They are excited to share it and share it and share it. It’s good for a writer to know their characters backstory of every character. The complete history of their world…all ten thousand years of it. It doesn’t mean all of needs to be in a novel. Wait, if a good novelist doesn’t info dump on their reader why would a flash fiction writer? There’s no way it can take place in your story. Limit your info dumps.

Here are other rules for science fiction and fantasy writers shouldn’t break: