Writing Prompt #28: Flash Fiction - The Last Dream You Remember

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Avatar for JonicaBradley
1 year ago

I want to try something a little different. I want us to try some Flash Fiction. I've included below a Masterclass article on how to write flash fiction. I really recommend reading it if only to find the complete definition and to discover all the elements required.

I will not give a word count limit. Use as few or as many words as you like. The Masterclass article gives some steps which I've copied here. Do click the link and take a read if you've never written flash fiction.

  1. Use strong imagery. Make every single word count. Help your readers visualize as much as possible.

  2. Stick to one moment. Focus on one particular moment in time. Don’t try to cram in more than one scene into a piece of flash fiction.

  3. Work with just one or two characters. Don’t spread your story too thin. If you find yourself needing more than two characters or two scenes, your story may be better suited to the short story format.

  4. Try first person point of view. This will create an instant connection to the reader and allow you to express more in fewer words.

  5. Surprise your reader. Make sure to end your story on a different emotional note than the one you started on. Creating surprise is what flash fiction is all about; take the reader on a journey, no matter how short.

  6. Make good use of your title. When you have so few words to work with, your title can pack a punch. Take Joyce Carol Oates’s flash fiction story Widow’s First Year. The story reads, simply: “I kept myself alive.”

Today's prompt theme is the last dream you had that you can remember. Even if it is just one image or an emotion. Try to build a story around it. If you honestly can't remember your dreams, ask friends and family if they can tell you one of theirs.

I've chosen dreams as the theme because I have found a lot of inspiration for my writing from dreams.

I do not want you to simply recount the dream.

Dreams in and of themselves are so confusing and rambling that, often, they don't make good story. Recounting a dream isn't writing fiction.

Instead, I want you to take the subject of the dream, whether nightmare or happy dream, and use it as a foundation for a fictitious story. For example, I could recount to you the dream I had about my young daughter who came to me and told me she was molested by a woman. I could recount to you that in my dream I killed the woman. I could tell you simply that I got away with it. And then I woke up.

Simply recounting the dream forces the reader to make up the story in their own mind. Recounting a dream doesn't necessarily give you a plot, a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Recounting a dream is just stating a group of muddled images. I want you to take those images and create a story. If you choose to write in first person as the hero of the story, that's great!

But, what if you dreamed you were flying around on a giant hippopotamus? What if instead of writing in first person as the rider of the hippo, you wrote in first person as the hippopotamus himself? Why is he letting a human ride him? How did he learn to fly? Where is he taking the human? Is he the good guy or the bad guy? Is the human happy about riding the hippo or has the hippo kidnapped the human for some reason?

There are some key questions a writer of fiction must answer.

  • Who is the hero of the story?

  • What is the hero's desire or goal?

  • What is getting in the way of the hero achieving their goal?

  • How does the hero overcome the obstacles?

  • In what way does the hero grow or change?

  • Is there a surprise twist at the end of the hero's journey?

Entire books have been written on the elements of good story writing. I won't be writing a book for you today. Maybe some day.

Using the example above, the last dream I remember, I would write it in first person.

  • The hero, or main character, is the killer mom. (I will have to give her a name and a personality)

  • The mom's desire is to protect and raise her daughter to adulthood.

  • The thing that is getting in the way of her goal is the child molester.

  • The mom overcomes the obstacle by killing.

  • The mom grows as a person when she decides to turn herself in to the cops after killing.

  • The surprise ending is she gets away with it.

Now the goal is to include all of these elements in very few words while still telling the complete story.

That is flash fiction.

I'll participate in the prompt challenge as well. Maybe I'll use the above dream, or maybe I'll have another dream that's better fitted to a flash fiction story.

There will be no word count limit the story can be as short or as long as you need it to be. I do request you don't submit the story in many parts. Write the entire story and submit it.

Keep in mind that you are writing flash fiction rather than a short story. A short story can be anywhere from 1,000–15,000 words, but most publications only publish short stories between 3000–5,000 words.

Remember, flash fiction can be as short as 6 words or as long 1000+ words. The most important part is a fully formed plot. A beginning, a middle, and an end.

Good luck and have fun! (Do go read the Masterclass article. Also, Google is your friend on this one.)

To participate in this writing prompt follow these simple steps:

  1. Join the Promptly Jonica community here

  2. Write a flash fiction using the last dream you remember as the theme.

  3. Write 100% original content

  4. Write at least 600 words for Rusty to be happy. If your story is very short, an introduction will help add to the word count.

  5. Submit your article to PromptlyJonica

  6. Tag me, @JonicaBradley

  7. Enjoy yourself!

You can participate in any of the Promptly Jonica prompts any time, as many times a you like, forever. Find them here.

Lead image generated by wombo AI.

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1 year ago

Comments

I'm ready to give this a go, also thanks for the sponsorship

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1 year ago

Can't wait to read it. You're welcome.

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1 year ago

😋😋.. Done

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1 year ago

Now you've got my head spinning trying to remember what my last dream was. I'd like to participate, thank you very much my friend.

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1 year ago

You're very welcome. You can always wait until you have a dream you remember.

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1 year ago

I already forgot about the hero in my dreams eheheheh

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1 year ago

I dreamed something last night and I kept thinking, while I was dreaming, oh this is cool! I need to use this one as my flash fiction. But by the time I woke up, I forgot.

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1 year ago

Hey I like this one! (maybe) I can join. Gonna save this for now.

Is there any deadline for this?

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1 year ago

Nope. No deadline on any of the PromptlyJonica writing prompts!

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1 year ago

Thank you 💓. Writing this feels great. I only need accurate images.

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1 year ago

This is a gonna be a wow! Love this. Thanks for presenting this

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1 year ago

when i was younger i have completed two notebooks full of writing about my dreams. i stopped writing when i get married but some of my posts here are from my dreams.

i just know about flash fiction from this post and i think its challenging, i'll try to make one.

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1 year ago

I can't wait to read it!

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1 year ago

Never tried. Haha thanks for the little intro what's a flash fiction and its elements. I wanna try haha

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1 year ago

Please do join us!

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1 year ago

I like it, writing outside my comfort zone. Feels good

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1 year ago

You are already ahead of the game. For most people WRITING is outside their comfort zone.

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1 year ago

Hmm… sounds like a nice challenge. I’ll give it a go x

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1 year ago

I can't wait!

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1 year ago

Seems a bit confusing but at the same time fun, gonna try it and used the guidelines you gave

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1 year ago

What is the confusing part? Maybe I can clear it up?

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1 year ago