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

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 #31 Don’t Let the Title Exceed 6 Words

Your title should be he best one. Ever! But don’t make to too long.

Your title should be the start of your story. These words are the first words of your story and first words your reader will see. But use too many words.

Limit your to six words. Long titles are great for doctoral thesis, but not for flash fiction.

All these stories have less than six words:

‘Dinosaur’ by Bruce Holland Rodgers:

‘The Outing’ by James Baldwin:

‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson:

Here is a wonderful writer discussing titles, Bruce Holland Rodgers. I have been lucky enough to include him in two anthologies: 

Here’s another article about titles from the University of Minnesota’s Center For Writing about titles: 

Tip #29 Loss the Speech Tags – ‘He Said/She Said’

These tags are invisible to the reader. For most of the time a reader’s eye will just skip over them. If the reader doesn’t notice them then don’t put them into your story because they will just add to the word count.  

I was going to place on here from classic literature, but I discovered how few of them were used by great authors. Go to Project Gutenberg.

See for yourself. Maybe we use too many he said/ she said nowadays.

He said, “Hand me the rifle.”

She said, “No, today is the day I’ll get my revenge.”

He said, “He killed my brother.”

She said, “But I get to shoot him first because I’m married to the snake.”

He said, “You win.”

Here’s a good article about speech tags from Grammar Girl:  

Tip #28 Write on Your Smart Phone

Write on your fiction on your Smartphone. It doesn’t have to be only your phones, and it can be on many other devices. Like your iPads, watch, or. Electronic keyboards. I still like writing micro-fiction with a notebook and an ink pen, but there are so many other ways of writing down your words these days. The tool I always have with me is my phone. It’s always on me. It’s also next to my bed. I don’t have the career any longer where I need to have a laptop with me all of the time.

But your phone works in a pinch. 

I have two apps for writing on it. Since I have an iPhone I use Apple’s Page application on it. It always works on my Apple laptop where it synchs with it automatically and uploads anything I write from the phone to the laptop. That is handy. If you have an iPhone like me, you might want to try one of these other ones. 

Microsoft Word: I like this app. It works on types of platforms. It’s good. It has many features. It’s drawback, Microsoft Word charges a monthly fee to use it.

Scrivener: By Literature and Latte. I keep trying this app, but it really doesn’t work for me. But many writers swear by it…it has a free trial so given it a look for yourself. It also works on many different platforms.

iA Writer: I swear by the one. I purchased it for $9.99, and I haven’t looked back. It also works many platforms, and it’s simple. It doesn’t take away from writing the story.

Google Docs: Google wants to be available everywhere and to anyone. Google docs works great if you have an internet connection, and it’s free. 

My iPhone also has a note-taking function if I don’t feel like using one of the other programs. I’m sure the other smartphones have this ability and it will save a little bit of money. Finally, when all else fails I can just open the phone’s email and write my story there. 

Currently, writing on my smartphone and it has been a God-send because I can use it anywhere. I often find myself writing in bed. The current story I’m working on, Mech Troopers, each of the chapters are only 500 words, and the phone works well when I write it. If I was trying to edit War and Peace, I would go back to my laptop, but for smaller works its great.

If you are looking for a fancy version and it’s expensive you might want to look at Freewriter: 

It’s $550 but it’s the Rolls Royce of the story writing machines.

But if you would like a cheaper version try an Alphasmart. They were first made for younger students, and they are no longer made any longer, but there were so many made they are easily found. I picked mine up for $25 on eBay. 

You can also dictate into your phone using Dragon Anywhere. It has a monthly fee. Some like it very much, but I didn’t like it. 

Nowadays there are so many choices to get those words down. Look around you will find something that will work best for you.

Here’s article about apps for the Android platform: