Friday, March 18, 2011

Entry: Crusade Challenge #2

As part of the Crusader blogfest, our second challenge is to create a flash fiction piece in 100 words or less, beginning with the words: "The goldfish bowl teetered…." Since I love the genre of fantasy, I will make this a fantasy snippet.


The Test

The goldfish bowl teetered, suspended above the boy's head. The Headmage directed Kayra to begin.

The bowl tipped. Power swirled from Kayra's fingertips, but deflected only part of the water trickling upon the boy.

Curses. Not a good day to have sluggish control of her magick.

The water grew cloudy. The goldfish paled to gray, fangs erupting. Kayra's magick sputtered. What the--

The boy cried out as rotwater singed his scalp. Fleshfish snapped near the bowl's rim. Kayra's magick blazed forth, sending the bowl and its contents into crackling oblivion.

Smoke tendrils drifted. Kayra slumped.

"Pass," said the Headmage.



***********

I don't think I've ever written anything this short! I initially wrote it at 150 words and had to pare it down by one-third. What a great challenge, to make something with a beginning, middle, and end in only 100 words! I'm a novelist at heart, and prefer to be more verbose. However, it's great to know how to economize your words no matter what you write.

YOUR TURN:
Have you ever written any flash fiction?
Aside from 1-sentence or 1-paragraph pitches and the like, what is the shortest piece you've ever written?

67 comments:

  1. You not only had a beginning, middle, and end, you threw in a plot-twist! Well done, Carol!
    erica

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  2. Great entry! Mine started out with almost 200 words. It was really hard to shorten, but I loved the challenge. I'll be posting it on Monday! Way to make yours fantasy :)

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  3. This is such a fun entry! I want more :)

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  4. I liked this. The staccato sentences really gave it a great pace.
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

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  5. You put a lot into the 100 words! I like how you made it fantasy.

    I've never tried flash fiction.

    I'm having a contest at my blog, if you'd like to visit.

    Have a great weekend!

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  6. That was great. Mine was really short, but yours felt more like a story. I think that's harder to pull off and you did it wonderfully.

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  7. Nice- I like the twist on the fish! Great job reaching the challenge. Its hard to meet this challenge.

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  8. I really like your piece. I'm not sure I can own a goldfish again!

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  9. Wonderful job! I've never tried flash fiction. Very daring, Carol!

    I started out writing short stories, but struggled with character development. I prefer room to create. My shortest piece of fiction was about 300 words.

    Thanks for sharing and good luck with your crusade! :)

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  10. Wow, that was cool! Sounds like she's got some power!!!!

    Fleshfish, scary!!! Bravo!!!

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  11. Oh, fun! Very visual. Love the fangs on the goldfish.

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  12. Very very nice. And I totally agree that it was hard to write everything in 100 words. However, I have the tendency to be too wordy, and editing always, always saves my butt in the end. :)

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  13. Yes; and I find writing flash so much harder than novels - or even short stories.

    Its good exercise for the skills though. Hmm, I haven't been by Rachells lately; thanks for the heads up for the challenge. I'll have to post mine later tonight.

    This was way cool, and yes, it was complette. Tension, character building, excellent setting. You did well Carol.

    ........dhole

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  14. I'm with you, Carol. I'm a novelist all the way.

    You did an amazing job with this. Almost made it seem so easy to do. :D

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  15. Wow. Great Job. I'm amazed at how much information you were able to include. Great little story.

    I agree with Stina. You make it look easier than it is. :)

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  16. Hey Carol, ooh, I loved this!

    I had a problem with my linky link, so your entry's been lost :( Can you pop back and re-link please, so everyone can find you. So sorry about that!

    Hugs,

    Rach

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  17. Oh, I love me some magick. Very nice.

    I like the concept of flash fiction to get you outside your comfort zone and thinking differently. But boy, I struggled. I like words and lots of them. To trim was a killer.

    ~Angela

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  18. Wow! I'm impressed. You had a whole story in that short space. Great job!

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  19. Fabulous :-) It made me smile. I like the way it turns from a disaster to a 'pass'. Writing a story in 100 words is surprisingly more difficult than in 150! Good story.

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  20. Oooh...goldfish fangs. :)

    I haven't tried flash fiction.

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  21. ooooh that is just mean... lol

    great story!

    It is really tricky to do, but i enjoyed it. Happy writing

    sarah

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  22. This one was so fun. I haven't written flash fiction before, but I'm going to find out how hard it is soon enough!

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  23. Wow!!!

    I never thought anyone could make this out of a teetering gold fish bowl. My goodness!!

    with warm regards
    http://becomingprince.blogspot.com

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  24. Great job Carol! Loving all the different directions people have gone in with the same words to begin.

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  25. This was a great entry Carol! I've never written any flash fiction before, so I'm kind of trembling at this particular Crusader challenge! But I love yours!

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  26. Carol, you said it all with very few words -- fantastic job!!! I've never tried flash fiction and actually find the challenge daunting. I didn't think writing my entire novel was as difficult as writing a synopsis of my novel. Guess I am not a woman of few words. (Oh,and thank goodness for crackling oblivion!) Wonderful story!

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  27. Great stuff. I love the magic element! :O)

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  28. Nicely done. I do almost everything in my power to avoid flash fic.

    :-)

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  29. Great job! I like the magic part of it.

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  30. That's a great story!

    I've never written any flash fiction before--so this Challenge is going to live up to its name for me!

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  31. Well done. You managed to add a lot of detail and some gripping tension. Not easy in 100 words.

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  32. Boy, did you make this look easy? I loved this, your writing is terrific....and rotwater? Inspired!

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  33. Fantastic job! I love the fanged goldfish.

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  34. I can't write short pieces either. It takes me 500 words to clear my throat.

    I like the fanstasy twist.

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  35. Well it's all been said! Thumbs up, great piece!

    Nikki

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  36. That was fun! Nice job. Amazing all the different takes on 4 little words.

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  37. That was awesome! Really, nicely done. I had never done anything this short before either, and had to pare down. It's tough. But you've mastered it already.

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  38. Wow - this is really great. I agree with Charity, you did a fantastic job of writing a story in 100 words. Pretty impressive!

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  39. Totally agree with the other comments here- you've managed to squeeze a lot into those 100 words. Great job!

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  40. Great job! This was my first or second attempt at a flash fiction piece. I'm a follower now. :)

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  41. This is excellent! I love how it ended with a flat "Pass" - kind of ironic when the rest of it was so dramatic.

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  42. Very cool. ☺ I agree, I don't think I've ever written anything so short before either. I kept having to cut words too.

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  43. A great story! I'm always awed that anyone can write a complete story in flash fiction. It was so hard to cut my word count down!

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  44. Great job! I've tried flash before, but this challenge was my smallest word count.

    Love the deadpan ending!

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  45. I'm not normaly into magic but I did like this - and nice plot - those fangs were brilliant

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  46. A lot going on in those 100 words! It's a great challenge, isn't it? Well done!

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  47. Very well done crusader. I liked your word choice especially. Vivid characters and action.

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  48. Loved this! Every sentence was filled with vivid imagery. And the last line was fantastic. Bravo!

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  49. P.S. I just realized I wasn't following you yet. So sorry for the oversight, fellow Crusader!! My mistake is now fixed :))

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  50. Ooooh, I like it! It is hard to pare down words...I tend to be quite wordy. Starting at 150, I think you kept the best ones here! :)

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  51. That was great! This challenge was my first attempt at flash fiction. It's a real challenge!

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  52. This is grrreeeattt and in your genre too? Well done you! Thanks for coming by and reading mine.

    I love writing flash fiction. I have a blog just for that (flashquake.) I find it really improves your writing to cut it down to the core yet have all the elements of story.

    Denise<3

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  53. Yes, super-short fiction is difficult. ever tried writing a drabble (100 words EXACTLY, no more, no less)? I liked your entry, it sounded like a Harry Potter spells lesson!

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  54. Fantastic, Carol.

    I enjoyed the magic...

    Michael

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  55. I always adore stories with a bit of magic in it! Lovely take on the challenge :)

    Am so happy I'm not one of the judges ;)

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  56. Hah! Love this! Magick always rocks!

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  57. That was great, Carol! I love the "smoke tendrils drifted." and how much you told me in just 100 words! Mine was originally in the 140s when I first wrote it. What a great exercise in making every word count!

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  58. I loved this. Great job. I was starting to get scared about where this was going. You had me on the edge of my seat in less than 100 words.

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  59. Lots of great imagery here.
    After all that, Kayra deserves a passing grade.

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  60. Wow. I think this is my favorite so far!

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  61. Woohoo! That was good! Well done for tightening it up to 100 words :-) And I like the story... kinda reminds me of Harry Potter :-)

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  62. I've been on a blogcation and am catching up!

    I love writing flash fiction! It is really hard to shorten it. Great job!

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  63. I am no good at flash fiction--I just run out of words too quickly, lol!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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