Posts Tagged ‘writing challenge’

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The mountain jutted like a dagger from the earth, a pinnacle of grey in a world of brown. It was all sharp angles and vertical drops, the deadliest of climbs.

But still they attempted it. To even try to climb the mountain was worthy of honour.

If anyone ever reached the top, they would praised above all others, chosen of the gods.

So he pressed on, climbing with pick and rope. Even when his muscles burnt and the wind threatened to dash him against the ground, he pressed on.

At last, he stood upon the tip of the mountain and beheld what none of his people had beheld before: another world, all around him, a world of heights that made the mountain look like nothing, that made his people look like nothing.

He stood there, not knowing whether to laugh or weep.


Word Count: 142

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and yarnspinnerr for providing the prompt photo!

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The War is coming.

They feel it in their bones. The shops are shut. Windows are barred. Mothers hold their children close. The streets are empty. A lone newspaper flutters on the breeze, drifting between abandoned cars.

The War is coming.

There has been no announcement on the radio. There has been nothing on the television. The Internet is a haze of grey. Nobody talks about it. They simply know.

The War is coming.

The tanks come, and the soldiers with them. Rifles and helmets glint and clank as they move through empty streets. Darting eyes stare through boarded windows, watching them move.

A soldier stops for a moment, aims his rifle at a noise: a cat, sitting atop a dustbin. In a flash of fur and claws and eyes, it is gone. It knows better than to be out when the War is coming.

They come to the port, looking out over the channel sea. Waters lap gently against the metal legs of abandoned dock cranes. The tanks roll to a halt, treads becoming still and silent. The whisper of waves on rocks fills the cold air.

And in the grey mist, they see the shadow of the enemy.


This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Photo credit to A Mixed Bag.

On day 5 of my personal challenge to write 100 stories in 100 days, I wrote story number four and it was a winner. I was extremely happy with it and think it has a good chance of getting accepted somewhere.

It is now day 11 and I’ve written a grand total of one story since.

This has been my problem for as long as I can remember. I’ll write something I like and then sit on it. That’s kind of the point of this challenge, to be prolific and not worry (yet) about quality, but every time I start a new one, I worry it won’t be as good and scrap it.

Bad Jaden, write faster.

Day: 11

Stories Finished: 5

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Each night, as the red sun dipped over the horizon, Lorena stood by the castle gates, looking out upon the moonlit moorland. Her sword was in her hand, the rings of her mail shone gold-bright, and her dark eyes glinted beneath her polished helm.

The wind blew cold against her cheek and carried the whispers of far-off voices: her mother lost to plague, her father slain by steel, and her bold love Badogund who had ridden over the hills into battle never to return.

They begged her to come to them, to kneel before the darkness that lurked upon the moor, the shadows that spread through the skies, and the black-eyed emperor in his rough-hewn throne.

Lorena stood firm.

They tested her each night for a hundred years and still she did not yield.


Word Count: 135

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and The Magesticgoldenrose for providing the prompt photo!

 

Having been miserably incompetent in any sort of writing achievement for about a year, I was in need of some sort of plan to try and make up for lost time. Working on a longform story is fun, but I’m at that point where I want to market my stories to places, and generally it’s easier, if less rewarding, to shop short fiction than your novel.

My achilles heel is consistency. I am in no way prolific, like a certain other contributor to this blog. And I always make up a bunch of excuses, some of those excuses I was using this very morning. So my latest plan is an attempt to play around those weaknesses while working on improving them at the same time.

I am going to write 100 stories in 100 days.

OK so as I said, I am not prolific. I tend to half-finish most of my projects. If I half-finish this one, then by September 12th, I will have fifty stories ready to go. That sounds like a lot to me. When getting published as a new voice is such a numbers game, the more stories you have the better. And that’s what this is really all about.

I began the challenge for myself yesterday, finishing story 1, “Things That Happened While You Were Waiting for the Train,” today.

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In days before the rise of the sun, they danced in the endless shadows. Her laugh rang out and became the eldest star, burning brighter than any other.

And when the world was forged, they raced along the burning fragments, singing as the magma cooled and the mountains rose.

Then they were split asunder as the great oceans formed, barriers that could not be passed. He sat upon a high rock as the first flowers unfurled their petals, his eyes wet with tears. She bestrode valleys, her sorrow like a cloud.

The first people made their stumbling steps and she was there to greet them. She taught them the ways of the beasts, the sharpness of stone, and the roar of the fire, but always her days were filled with the memories of him.

The people made boats, crude barges of wood tossed by bitter waves. She wept at the sight. after an eternity of loneliness, she could know him again.

She felled mighty trees and lashed them together, setting forth across the churning sea.

The wind was fair and the sun bright as she set foot on unknown soil, the sea behind her.

He was waiting for her.


Word Count: 199

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to C.E. Ayr for the prompt photo!

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Ian Thorn was happy with his reputation as the finest mind in England, his impressive number of completed cases, and the money that piled up in his bank account. What he could live without were the bodies.

It was all right at first. His clients came in and he solved their murders. But then he found a man stabbed to death on the Underground during his morning commute. A visit to his brother’s house in the country revealed a secret Satanic cult.

Solving mysteries was all very good, but he preferred not to have his work follow him home.

“Take a vacation,” his friend, Inspector Banks, said. “Try the beach.”

So Thorn went to the beach. He walked the golden sands, watching sunlight play over clear waters, a salty breeze in his face.

And then he found it, floating in the shallows.

He sighed. There was another case to solve.


Word Count: 150

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Louise for providing the prompt photo!