Long time blog reader Kitty Myers and I had a quick exchange about prologues/usefulness thereof, and I had a light bulb moment.
How about we have a flash fiction contest that isn't prompt words, but a prompt concept?
To wit: Write something that creates tension, and makes us want to know more.
Here are some examples of a single line that does that:
The Scopuli had been taken eight days ago, and Julie Mao was finally ready to be shot.
They shoot the white girl first.
"You screwed up, Mr. Cates"
The Electric Church
Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet. 1977, May 3, six thirty in the morning, no one knows anything but this innocuous fact: Lydia is late for breakfast.
Everything I Never Told You
They were in one of the “I” states when Zeke told Isaac he had to ride in the trunk for a little while.
By a Spider's Thread
He was gorgeous and he was naked but, unfortunately, he was dead.
Death and the Redheaded Woman
Loretta Sue Ross
Let's give it a try and see if it works/has benefits/thwarts Steve Forti.
The usual rules apply:
1. Write something that grabs us and creates tension in 100 words or fewer.
2. Use these words in the PROLOGUE There are no prompt words.
3. You must use the whole word, but that whole word can
be part of a larger word. The letters for the prompt must appear in consecutive
order. They cannot be backwards.
4. Post the entry in the comment column of THIS blog post.
5. One entry per person. If you need a mulligan (a do-over) erase your entry and post again. It helps to work out your entry first, then post.
6. International entries are allowed, but prizes may vary for international addresses.
7. Titles count as part of the word count (you don't need a title.)
8. Under no circumstances should you tweet anything about your particular entry to me. Example: "Hope you like my entry about Felix Buttonweezer!" This is grounds for disqualification.
9. There are no circumstances in which it is ok to ask for feedback from ME on your contest entry. NONE.
10. It's ok to tweet about the contest generally.
Example: "I just entered the flash fiction contest on Janet's blog and I didn't even get a lousy t-shirt"
11. Please do not post anything but contest entries. (For example: "I love Felix Buttonweezer's entry!"). Save that for the contest results post.
12. You agree that your contest entry can remain posted on the blog for the life of the blog. In other words, you can't ask me to delete the entry and any comments about the entry at a later date.
13. The stories must be self-contained. That is: do not
include links or footnotes to explain any part of the story. Those extras will
not be considered part of the story.
Contest opens: Saturday, 9/17/22 2:51am EDT
Contest closes: Sunday, 9/18/22 10:00am EDT
If you're wondering how what time it is in NYC right now, here's the clock
If you'd like to see the entries that have won previous contests, there's an .xls spread sheet here http://www.colindsmith.com/TreasureChest/
(Thanks to Colin Smith for organizing and maintaining this!)
Questions? Tweet to me @Janet_Reid.
Not yet! ENTER! Rats, too late. Contest closed!