Sep 30, 2011

3 For Thursday: Clarification, Changes, Thoughts?

I would have to say that having run the challenge twice and had a total of three people submitting five stories posted is not what I would call "off to a flying start."

Maybe I made it too complicated or restrictive?

Here was the idea when I first came up with it.
(original post of rules here)
It would be a cross between a word limit challenge (ie. #HumpdayChallenge) and a speed challenge (ie. #5MinuteFiction) with two challenges (or four if you look at writing three separate 100 word stories as three challenges)

Challenge #1: 100 Words
The idea was that you could drop in at any (or all) of the given times and write a short 100 word story based on whatever prompt was available during that time.  You would have an hour to write it and submit it.

If you wanted to do all three challenges you could, or just do the one that best suits your time or even do a couple.  The stories didn't have to be related and could be looked at as three pieces in three separate flash fiction contests.

Challenge #2: 300 Words
This was for the more adventurous ones:
►You would start with the first prompt and write 100 word beginning in the first hour with the first prompt.
►The second prompt would come up (which would be at least slightly related to the first) and you would then need to integrate that prompt into the middle of your story.
►With the last prompt you would then have to finish your 300 word story using it.
A bit of a bigger challenge than just writing one 100 word story as each part couldn't change with the next prompt and you had to do each section in an hour.

So, here are some questions:

  1. Is it too complicated to understand?
  2. Is a single prompt and only an hour to use it for 100 words too restrictive?
  3. Are the times bad?
  4. Is it too difficult to start a story for the 300 word challenge without knowing what the next prompt will be?
  5. Would you like to:
    • See all prompts at once
    • Have them each come out at separate times but be able to use any that are available?
    • Rethink the whole challenge using the KISS principle and just have prompts to write 100 word story in an hour?
I really would appreciate any feedback because at this point I would have to say that one more go at this next week then after that I am going to pass the Thursday Flash Fiction reins over to somebody else.

Thanks for Reading,

D. Ryan Leask


  1. I really like this setup and want to do it. My troubles are the times and the time limit - I don't do any of the timed challenges, because it's so hard to set aside a specific block of time during the workday, but I know there are plenty of folks who enjoy them.

    I have to be sneaky to post in the middle of the day (ssshhh, don't tell my boss), and if work has to take precedence, I can put the prompted challenges aside and come back later.

    If this was a weekend challenge, I'd be able to do it easily. For weekdays I can't commit to a 3-hr block like that. Even to do one challenge, the time limit would probably screw me more often than not.

  2. From @RedShirt6 via e-mail:
    I think the biggest challenges for participation are, as Cara says, the time of day and the fact that it's three timed challenges. I am lucky in that I have access at work and, barring meetings, can get the prompts and working on them offline.

    I think KISS is most likely the way to go, but maybe make it flash fiction that allows a larger limit such ast the 300 words?

  3. Firstly I will address the posting issue. It's all internet explorers fault. I can't even post a comment if I'm using IE. Google Chrome of course works great. I think Bill Gates is trying to make Google applications difficult to use :-)
    I hope that the tweaks I made and the addition of the 100 word all prompts challenge will help include more people. I have thought about bumping that up to 300 words… I think I will next week.


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