« Week #259 - One, Two, Three »

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Date: 7-18-2017
Word Limit: 0
Words Written: 6,592

Judges (crits):
Sitting Here

Audio Recap: Week 259
Week Archivist:

As we near the end of the fifth year of thunderdome, I look back on this year and see that it has seen a lot of weeks with high word limits, or with no word limit at all. Now, I enjoy reading and writing longer stories at least as much as the next guy, but we may be losing track of the true spirit of flash fiction with all of these might-as-well-be-short stories lengths. So consider this week a corrective.

This week, entrants can submit up to three different stories. There will be three word counts, and three mini-prompts for you to mix and match as you wish. (If you write less than three, you can pick any one or two pairs. But you can’t use the same prompt or the same wordcount twice.)

The stories should be posted in up to three separate posts and will be judged individually, although nobody is going to get the same result (other than maybe DQs I guess) more than once out of the week. Other combinations are possible.

Also, Your stories should not be connected in any way. Things won’t go well for anyone the judges suspect of trying to write a longer story in three parts.

Word Counts

One: 100 words, exactly. What some call a ‘drabble’, and others less imaginatively call a hundred-word story. (The title doesn’t count, but please don’t go crazy.) It’s a difficult format, in some of the same ways poetry can be difficult but hopefully not as intimidating. It’s also an editing test. I’d advise double-checking your count with the old mark I eyeball.

Two: Between 150 and 250 words. Another sort of tough format, but we’ve done one week with this limit and gotten very good results. I’d advise looking at the bird week stories (some of which may be found, among other good non-td stories, in the November 2016 edition of Flash Frontier )to see how they handled it.

Three: Between 300 and 500 words. Still short, but long enough to be in the normal range of short td stories, so easy mode, relatively speaking.

All very short. Trying to fit a full narrative arc into these lengths is going to be challenging, so illustrating moments, vignettes, and character sketches are welcome.


One: Time Is out of Joint
Just what it says on the tin..

Two: Use Your Allusion
Somewhere in your story, use a literary allusion to a work by either Rudyard Kipling or Emily Dickinson. This can be in the voice of a character, from the narrator, or even just in the title. Special exclusions: No ‘Because I Could Not Stop for Death’, no ‘White Man’s Burden’.

Three: Genre Blind Spots
Write something that belongs in one of the following Genres:
Nonsense, Magic Realism, and Slipstream

Just to clarify, it’s the numbered prompts you can only use once. The genres are all part of prompt three, so if you use Nonsense for one of your stories you can't write Slipstream for your second story at a different length.

No Erotica, Fanfic, etc. No poetry either (although experimental prose that treads mighty close to that line is fine.)

You don’t have to commit to a specific number of stories when you go in unless you want to, even if you for some reason feel compelled to toxx.

13 Total Submissions, 1 Total Failures:

Failures who signed up but did not submit: