Archive for October 27th, 2012

Flashathon 2012 Hour Sixteen

Here on the east coast it is now midnight. Actually, it’s 11:59pm because I wanted to make sure this posted correctly. Since it’s the witching hour, I figure there’s only one possible theme.

Bump in the night.

For those of you still going at this, you’re kicking some ass. There’s just a few more hours left.

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Flashathon 2012 Hour Fifteen

Inspiration can come from many places. Thoughts, memories, sounds, smells. If I thought I could successfully portray a smell through the internet I would. So, instead, we’re going to go with some colors. While HTML defines a lot of colors you may have heard of, such as red and blue, there are some more obscure colors with some more interesting names. I’ve got three swatches below. The names are there, too, if you want some more inspiration. Just highlight the row and the text will appear.

Cadet Blue
Spring Green
Rosy Brown

Have fun with those!

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Flashathon 2012 Hour Fourteen

We’re deep into things by now. If you started early and kept going you might already be at twelve hours, or you might still have plenty of time to go. If you’re out west, I hope you’ve had some dinner. If not, order a pizza or something, get some carbs and protein into your system. This hour, a nice two word prompt.

Time travel.

You can either make time travel a central element of your story, or you can get into your personal time machine and head back to a previous prompt. Either an hour you missed, an hour you skipped, or an hour that had multiple options to pick another.

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Flashathon 2012 Hour Thirteen

Let’s do a little fancy HTMLing for this hour’s prompt. We’ve been hanging out together for a few hours now, I think a little tabling between friends. This is going to be a one word prompt, but you’re going to have to assemble the word out of the prefixes and suffixes below, turn it into a word, one that doesn’t actually exist, then use that word in your story.


So this should create some interesting words. Best of luck!


Flashathon 2012 Hour Twelve

We’re two thirds of the way through the Flashathon, right in the heart of it no matter which coast you’re on. So let’s try something different. I wanted to mix up the types of prompts, so this time we’re going with a piece of audio. The song is under three minutes. I’d suggest trying to ignore the title, but it’s hard not to show it. So give a listen, then give a write.

Best of luck this hour!


Flashathon 2012 Hour Eleven

I hope everyone on the east coast got their dinner in. If not, get going. West coast, a bit of a snack right about now will keep you going. This hour might be a little bit of a challenge, since most of you are writing flash fiction if you’re writing to the prompts. But this hour…

Write a story with a twist ending.

So channel your inner M. Night…except maybe less telegraphed.

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Flashathon 2012 Hour Ten

Last year Bud Sparhawk provided one of the more abstract prompts of Flashathon. That prompt inspired a story by Day Al-Mohamed that resulted in a sale. She thanked him, and he provided another fantastic and abstract prompt for our enjoyment. It’s long, so let’s get right into it.

Short stories contrive to use a single incident to illuminate a whole life: They aim for a short, sharp shock. Novels, those fabulously loose and baggy monsters, frequently transcribe entire biographies, reveal cross sections of society or show us the interaction of several generations.  They contain multitudes.  In between lies that most beautiful of fiction’s forms, the novella or nouvelle.  Here, the writer aims for the compression that produces both intensity and resonance.  By focusing on just two or three characters, the short novel can achieve a kind of artistic perfection, elegant in form yet wide in implication.  The closest analogue may be Aeschylean tragedy – two actors on an almost bare stage, ripped by the torments of the human heart.

Bud Sparhawk is a hard science fiction short story writer who started writing in 1975 with three sales to ANALOG. Since returning to writing his works have appeared in ANALOG, Asimovs, several anthologies as well as in other print media and on-line magazines both in the United States and Europe. He has two short story collections and one novel. He has been a three-time Nebula finalist. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland and is a frequent sailor on the Chesapeake Bay. A complete biography, lists of stories, copies of articles, and other material can be found at his web site.

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Flashathon 2012 Hour Nine

This hour for our prompt we turn to Matthew Hance aka Casper Pearl aka the editor of the Memory Eater anthology that you heard me talk about so often while we were going through our successful Kickstarter campaign. The book is now a real live thing, I have my copy sitting at home. If you don’t yet have a copy it’s available from Amazon. So grab a copy, won’t you? When approached for a prompt, I was told he is working on a new book about bullying, so he provided:

Getting revenge on an elementary school bully.

There you have it, your prompt for this hour. Do some writing, then if you’re on the east coast, go order a pizza so it’ll show up in time to eat it and get back to work. Flashathon stops for no man!

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Flashathon 2012 Hour Eight

This hour of Flashathon we turn to Linda Adams. First, I want to thank Linda, she has helped promote this event to several writing forums. If you’re here from one of those forums, if you saw her post, then thank you also for stopping by. Linda also gave me two prompts, so I’m going to throw them out as an option. Because I like options in hours.

Mad Clown Disease


Killer Kites

Linda can be found on her blog here. She’s a veteran of the Persian Gulf War and a damned fine writer with both fiction and non-fiction sales too numerous to mention. When you finish up your writing for the hour, check out her book and magazine publications, then look for her upcoming stories in the 2012 Forward Motion Anthology and The Darkness Within.


Flashathon 2012 Hour Seven

We’re really into the meat of Flashathon now. If you’re going for twelve hours, then you’re somewhere around here. You might be taking this hour off, but this is the latest you can start and still get twelve prompts in. While this event takes place here at Writerly Words, we’re cohosted by Unleaded — Fuel for Writers, my blog away from blog where I post…almost every Wednesday. It’s also our secret escape blog in case Flashathon traffic crashes Writerly Words. One of those good problems to have. So I asked one of the co-owners of Unleaded to give us some prompts, and here is number one. Want the second one? That’s going to bookend this event at 2am.

Stretch yourself. Write a story from a different point of view than your own. That can be disability, gender, race, or class. Highlight its impact on the character’s worldview.

I have this as the earlier of her two prompts as I see it as the harder of the two for most writers. So I wanted people to get it while they were nice and fresh. So crack the knuckles, get into someone else’s head, and get writing.


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