Fun With Flash Fiction!

Hi everyone! I have a writing exercise I’m going to try out. I’m curious to see how it works, and I’ll need your help to do it. Don’t worry, no heavy lifting or paperwork required. All I need from each and every one of you is a trigger. Now you’re probably wondering what the heck I’m going on about. Well, a trigger, in this context, is a word or phrase that is used to try to create a story from. Once I have a trigger, I’ll try to use that to root a story idea in it, and will let the story grow from there. The story does not have to contain the word, nor does the connection to the word have to be obvious. The goal is get the creative flow going and end up with something in the end. So what I need from you are the trigger words. You can leave a comment here. I intend to use each and every one of them to create a story–the time frame for doing this is uncertain since I’m not sure how big of a response to expect from this, and I do have other writing projects as well as Real Life going on in parallel. So please, drop a message here with a trigger. Please keep it clean to some extent.

Where did the idea for this come to mind? Two places:
1. I first came across this idea at Liberty Hall Writer’s Forum, where they hold a weekly flash fiction challenge. Once you log in to see the trigger, you have just 90 minutes to write a complete story and submit it so you can view others’ stories and vote on your favorite. It’s a great way to get a story going when you’re having trouble getting the start. I encourage you to stop by and give it a try.

2. I lovingly stole the idea for taking triggers from a group of friends from an interview with writer Greg Van Eekhout who has tried this before. It sounded like fun, so here goes. Thanks Greg!

Published by

David Steffen

David Steffen is an editor, publisher, and writer. If you like what he does you can visit the Support page or buy him a coffee! He is probably best known for being co-founder and administrator of The Submission Grinder, a donation-supported tool to help writers track their submissions and find publishers for their work . David is also the editor-in-chief here at Diabolical Plots. He is also the editor and publisher of The Long List Anthology: More Stories From the Hugo Award Nomination List series. David also (sometimes) writes fiction, and you can follow on BlueSky for updates on cross-stitch projects and occasionally other things.

4 thoughts on “Fun With Flash Fiction!”

  1. My trigger is this article:

    I find visual triggers great, too. Sometimes a picture carries little info but a weight of emotion and atmosphere that inspires a deeper response.

    Liberty Hall is a fantastic place. I joined 18 months ago, following a certain David Steffen, and I stuck. If anyone is interested in joining, you now have to be sponsored by an existing member, but we aren’t difficult to find. The place has started and developed the careers of a rising number of pro writers.

  2. I discovered that random word pairings can make good SF launch points. I use the tag list from WordPress to skim for pairings.

    The pairing I bring to you today: Sex Software.

    I used to put these on my blog. Lots of fun. I might try to write on one of my old pairings this weekend.

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