- Description - Write a story that is primarily description. Go light on events but don’t lose the story line.
- Metaphor - Think of an apt metaphor for the characters or situations in the story. Let the metaphor carry the meaning. Try to use a single extended metaphor throughout the entire story.
- Mixed Metaphor - A mixed metaphor is where the literal reading of a metaphor doesn’t make sense. The reader may still gets the idea. Such as “The president will put the ship of state on its feet.” Write the story using mixed metaphors.
- Similes - Similes explicitly compare two things. Rewrite the story using similes so it shines like a new penny.
- Puns - Fill the 100 word story with no less than 10-12 puns. Make it funs.
- Personification - Tell the story using personification (giving human qualities to inanimate objects). Your story may or may not thank you.
- Apostrophize - To apostrophize means to address an absent person or a personified thing. “Jesus. I love this technique.” Use the technique somewhere in your story.
- Synonyms - Synonyms are words having the same or nearly the same meaning. Try to find a few ideas or thoughts in the story and use synonyms for each nugget somewhere in the text.
- Irreverence - Try to turn the entire piece into a work of irreverence. Don’t hold back. Spare no character. All your stories are going to suck anyway.
- Hyperbole - Hyperbole means obvious or intentional exaggeration. Re-write the piece using hyperbole only - try to use it in every possible word.
- Understatement - Don’t say too much.
- Irony - I’m sure you’re doing really good by now with all these stories. I’m sure they are all really excellent. Keep it up.
- Rhetorical Questions - Why not try re-writing the piece using rhetorical questions? Rhetorical questions are helpful sometimes, don’t you think?
- Purposeful Omission
- Word Play - Make the words stand, sit, jump, fetch and roll-over. Come on, dog.
- Removing Conjunctions - Search the story for conjunctions. Remove them all. Do not use them in this re-write. Not ever.
- Malapropism - A malapropism is either an intentional or unintentional misuse of words, usually having a similar sound, usually with a ridiculous result. Such as Richard Daley’s quote “The police are not here to create disorder, they’re here to preserve disorder.” Drop a malapropism on your story.
- Body Language - Focus on the body language of your characters as they interact, postures, gestures, facial expressions, and the like. And wipe that smile off your face.
- Smell - I’ll forgo the obvious and not say that this Friday Flash Prompt is starting to smell like a three day old fish, but you get the idea. Focus on smell in the story.
- Colors - Add a little sunny yellow or a little sour green to the story. See what happens.
- Clothing - Focus on the character’s garments or clothing (those are synonyms). Dress your character up.
- Symbolism - Especially in short works, symbolism can help a writer say more with fewer words. Add something symbolic to something somewhere in the piece.
- Dialog - “Why am I doing this prompt?” he asked. “It might make you think of things you don’t usually think of,” the creator of the prompt replied. Use dialog. Also, see what happens if you give one of your characters an accent.
- Turn of Phrase - Invent new ways to noodle the notions into your reader’s noggins.
- Mannerisms - Focus on your characters mannerisms. Something they do repeatedly or out of habit that identifies them. A certain movement of the hand or quirk in their style.
About the Author
Thomas Jay Rush is the owner of a small internet-based software company, a
fact he chooses to ignore, focusing instead on writing short fiction, poetry
and a recently completed first novel, Doylestown. Mr. Rush lives with his
family in Southeast Pennsylvania. In January 2011 he begins pursuit of an
MFA in Creative Writing degree at Rosemont College.
For further reading, check out FlashFiction.Net’s suggested readings of flash fiction and prose poetry collections, anthologies, and craft books, by clicking here.