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FlashFlood Advent Calendar 2018: Day 25

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Day 25: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas....
For our last writing prompt in the 2018 Flash Flood Advent Calendar, we're putting ourselves first...literally.

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Write a story in which the main character is you, but everything else in the story (setting, characters, situations) is fictional.  It's up to you whether you simply want to write yourself into a circumstance that just happens to be different from your life, or whether you prefer to go down the Alice-in-Wonderland you-finding-yourself-in-an-unexpected-place route.

If you'd like an extra challenge, use 'joy' as a theme, and give your story a happy ending.  Try to avoid a conclusion that's trite, pat, predictable, twee, or mawkish.  (Did we mention that this is a challenge?)


Thank you so much for writing with us during these past 25 days.  If you have a moment, we would love to know what you thought of these prompts, and your thoughts on NFFD in general.  If you could take a moment to fill out this sh…

FlashFlood Advent Calendar 2018: Day 24

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Day 24: Silent Night...
It's Christmas Eve, and for those celebrating Christmas, it can be a time of many things...family and loneliness, serenity and stress, quiet and chaos, joy and grief, and pretty much everything in between.  And for those not marking the holiday, there is plenty of traffic and bustle and Slade to put up with.

In today's prompt, we're going to take a step away from it all and think about something that it is easy to get too little (or too much) of this time of year: silence.

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Write a story or scene in which two people have a conversation, but at least one never makes a noise.  It's your choice whether you want to replace speech with other forms of communication, or just relegate the quiet character's talking to the off-camera moments.  Just make sure there is no direct speech (dialogue reported word-for-word in quotation marks) or reported speech (the narrator or author summarising what the character said) within the piece.

For an extra chall…

FlashFlood Advent Calendar 2018: Day 23

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Day 23: Making Beautiful Scenes from Radishes


The Night of the Radishes (Noche de Los Rábanos) is an annual event taking place on the 23rd of December in the Market Square of Oaxaca, Mexico where artisans make and display beautiful scenes out of carved radishes. 

Can we take some radishes of our own and shape them into something surprising and beautiful?

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Find some writing that you did for any purpose other than creative expression.

This could be a shopping list, job application, essay, half-finished letter, financial report or note to your family or housemates requesting that they put their dishes in the dishwasher instead of leaving them in the sink.

Have a read over it and use its words to craft a story.  You may add words, but challenge yourself to add as few as possible.

If you want an extra challenge, don't add any words; craft your story by rearranging the words you've already written.


If you'd like to share the flash fiction love, consider purchasing one of our …

FlashFlood Advent Calendar 2018: Day 22

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Day 22: Story Sketches
One of the most exciting elements of flash is the way whole worlds can be suggested with broad strokes and a few carefully chosen details.  In today's prompt, we're going to play with writing loose and free, making sketches with our words.

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Part 1

Tell a story with the bare minimum of fussiness and elaboration.  Set yourself a timer for no more than five minutes (and you're very welcome to go shorter if you're feeling brave), and get the bones of a story down on paper.

Instead of seeing this as merely an outlining of a story, try to imagine yourself as the flash equivalent of a sketch artist: you have a limited time to capture the essence of a moment or scene, and you're choosing this fast and gestural approach on purpose.  Embrace the omissions and the playfulness of your quickly-drawn lines.

You are welcome to use the art provided as a starting point, or begin with a blank canvas, whatever you prefer.

This exercise works wonderfully if you&…

FlashFlood Advent Calendar 2018: Day 21

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Day 21: Good Things Come in Small Packages

It's the shortest day of the year, so for today's challenge, let's celebrate the shortest of short shorts....

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How short a story can you write?  Can you write a story that's....
25 words?  (This is the maximum length for Hint Fiction, and the word length for various competitions past, such as the Australian Writers' Centre 25-Word Challenge and Bath Spa University's 25-Word Novel Prize.)18 words?  (Although not flash fiction, Gotham Writers' are currently running a free 18-Word Past-Year Memoir Competition.  If you write Creative Non-fiction for this prompt, we'll count it!)6 words?  (The Gravity of the Thing regularly publishes six-word flashes.) For an extra challenge, write a flash suite in three sections, one of each length above.  Let the three sections ping off each other in interesting ways, but each section should stand on its own as a complete micro.


If you'd like to help further the aims of Nation…

FlashFlood Advent Calendar 2018: Day 20

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Day 20:I Second (Guess) That Emotion
Tears stream down my face.  I wring my hands.  My heart pounds, races, flutters, and skips a beat.  I bite my lip and break out into a cold sweat.

What could possibly be happening?  Could it a dramatic moment in a story?  Or is it an allergic reaction to common word pairings?

If you guessed the latter, this prompt is for you....

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Step 1.

Pick a mood or emotional state that you'd like to write about.  This could be fear, anxiety, love, arousal, boredom...anything where you can imagine a character's physical response.

Step 2.

Put on a timer for five minutes or so and jot down all the common physical manifestations you can think of for that mood.  What is your character doing and feeling?  What is their body doing that is beyond their control?  What might they be doing deliberately?  What are they doing unconsciously?

Embrace cliché!  Seek out and celebrate all those common word pairings!  For fear, you might end up with something like the f…

FlashFlood Advent Calendar 2018: Day 19

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Day 19: Surprise!
Many holidays in December involve the exchange of wrapped gifts.

Have you ever had to act surprised when someone gives you a holiday gift but you already know what it is?  Have you ever wrapped up a present for yourself only to act surprised when it comes time to open it? 

Today's prompt gets at a wonderfully philosophical question: can a person be surprised by a present they give themselves?

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Write a flash in which you aim to surprise yourself with every sentence — perhaps even every word — as you're writing.  If you think you know how the sentence is going to end, take it a different direction.  If you think you know what word you're going to use, pick something else.  If you think you know how the story will end, find a different way to resolve it. 

At first this may feel as impossible as trying to tickle yourself, but relax, have fun, and give yourself permission to write weird and wonderful.  Free yourself to write nonsense if you like, as long as…