Flashes of inspiration #13 – Entries

Businessman seated on a telephone wire. Watched by a crow.

Hey there, here are the entries for the latest Flashes of Inspiration contest. I’ve been joined by the lovely Tabatha Wood, who interviewed me last week. In case you weren’t aware, she has a collection of short horror fiction out, called Dark Winds Over Wellington. You can check it out here. Okay, so the words this week were Seminal, Ferocity, Pyjamas. We had 400 words to play with and we were looking to evoke a bygone age with our writing. Let’s see what we’ve got…

Read moreFlashes of inspiration #13 – Entries

Share this page:

Flashes of inspiration #13 – Challenge

Businessman seated on a telephone wire. Watched by a crow.

Hi all, and welcome back to Flashes of Inspiration, my bi-weekly flash fiction contest here at The Fine-toothed Comb. It’s been a busy week for me. Right now I’m ploughing my way through several short stories and a chunky novel, all for structural review. A convention has been announced, which I’ll be taking part in in various different panelly and workshoppy ways like some kind of pro. Oh, and I’m gradually losing the war against yoghurt. (Don’t ask.)

Anyway, enough about me. This is my forum for bringing creative people together in friendly competition. All I’m after is 400 words of imaginative prose or poetry, using the above image for inspiration. Literal interpretations are fine, as are figurative, tonal, and thematic. Whatever floats your dream-boat. I’ve been setting some specific challenges of late to try to push my own writing a bit. This week, let’s try making our narratives sound like they were written in a bygone era.

In addition, I have 3 key words that must be used in your piece in some way, shape, or form. These are:

Read moreFlashes of inspiration #13 – Challenge

Share this page:

Flashes of inspiration #12 – Entry

Horse & rider racing. Dazzling sunlight. Classical architecture.

‘Dim ond fi,’ as they say in these parts. Only me this time, but I enjoyed the challenge. It feels good to be back in the saddle, so to speak. So what have I got here? A little vignette, flinging us back to past days of glory and tragedy, swords, sandals, and beating hooves. It didn’t quite do all that I’d hoped but I’m content with it.

From next week I’ll be getting some signal-boosting assistance from my good friends at the Ginger Nuts of Horror, so hopefully we’ll start seeing a bit more company and competition around here. I’m happy to keep plugging away for my own satisfaction but the frisson of competition definitely adds something. It drives us to do better each time, and I think it sharpens the mind, makes us more aware of the power and significance of each word, each line.

Anyway, here’s my nugget of creativity for this week…

Read moreFlashes of inspiration #12 – Entry

Share this page:

Flashes of inspiration #12 – Challenge

Horse & rider racing. Dazzling sunlight. Classical architecture.

Welcome back to Flashes of Inspiration, your (ahem) bi-weekly flash fiction competition. It’s been a bit of a busy time at The Fine-toothed Comb of late – both professionally and personally – so my apologies for keeping you waiting so long. I’ve crossed countries to see a cousin get married, attended the WorldCon in Dublin, had a teensy bit of a breakdown with regards to the day-job, and recovered myself at a pretty magical music festival. I’m back in the saddle now and raring to go again, hence the ever-so-appropriate image up top to help inspire our next round of creativity.

Forgotten how this works? It’s simple. You have 400 words to play with, an image to give you a sense of meaning, tone, action (or whatever), and 3 key words that you must use in the text somewhere. (Variants of the words are acceptable, so long as the root remains.) Confused? Frazzled? It’s just a bit of fun. Don’t sweat it.

Read moreFlashes of inspiration #12 – Challenge

Share this page:

Flashes of inspiration #11 – Entries

Young boy floating in a lake which reflects the cosmos.

A quiet one this week, just the two of us. It’s still working though, still getting me writing regularly instead of just thinking about maybe writing something one day. I’ve just had FB memories popping up today reminding me of one of the books I’ve actually nurtured from conception to reality, so that’s a boost for me too. Proves we can actually do something if we set out with determination and follow things through all the way. Anyway, enough bunkum from me. Here are this week’s entries for Flashes of Inspiration.

Read moreFlashes of inspiration #11 – Entries

Share this page:

Flashes of inspiration #11 – Challenge

Young boy floating in a lake which reflects the cosmos.

Welcome once more to Flashes of Inspiration, my bi-weekly flash fiction contest. We’ve had 10 games of free-play, and it’s been loads of fun, but I think it’s time to get a little more challenging. For the next 10 contests, I’ll be pushing out of my comfort zone and hopefully dragging you lot with me. Why? Well, it’s all good exercise. Stretching different writing muscles and so on.

So, this first challenge is to find a new perspective. Flipping expectations. Same rules as ever: 400 words, 1 picture to help inspire and 3 key words to be included in some way…

Read moreFlashes of inspiration #11 – Challenge

Share this page:

Flashes of inspiration #9 – Entries

Extreme close-up of an long-lashed eye. A naked man clambers through the pupil.

Another week has flown. I almost didn’t make this one. It’s been a tricky time and I’ve been kind of overwhelmed. Back on track now. The last editing gig is almost done and the tangle of personal bits and bobs are starting to resolve themselves at last. Anyway, moving on. Just two of us taking part in the challenge, so no voting required. Not sure if the change of days has affected things or if the stars of creativity just failed to align for the folk who would usually appear. We shall have to see. In the meantime, here are the entries inspired by Jono Dry’s art.

Read moreFlashes of inspiration #9 – Entries

Share this page:

Flashes of inspiration #9 – Challenge

Extreme close-up of an long-lashed eye. A naked man clambers through the pupil.

Morning peeps, and welcome back to the Flashes of Inspiration challenge – my bi-weekly flash fiction competition thingy. I’m trying to get into the habit of writing, stirring the pot of my imagination in order to keep things fresh. I’m also giving myself the licence to experiment. Making it a shared challenge seems to hook me in more and helps me drive for quality. I hope you get something equally valuable out of it.

A reminder – the images we use each time don’t have to be taken literally and needn’t figure in your creative writing at all (though they can do so if you wish). The intention is to prick the subconscious, to prompt questions, to set a tone or evoke some feeling. Take them as you will. Your work can be in any genre, take any style or form. As usual these days, I’m looking for no more than 400 words. It seems to be a sweet spot. Oh yes, and the following three words must be used:

Read moreFlashes of inspiration #9 – Challenge

Share this page:

Flashes of inspiration #8 – Entries

A woman standing by an open-casket, touching the corpse within. She catches our eye...and smiles slyly.

Time’s up. Just a couple of us this week, so no need to vote. It’s all about the exercise of writing, making inspiration a reflexive habit instead of an occasional experience. It’s funny, but my story twisted in my hands. I had thought to dive into madness and necrophilia, but those laughing eyes (and my protagonist’s wittering way) dragged things around to a different kind of darkness. And Tabby’s story? Yeah, that feels right. It’s a good ‘un. Well, why don’t I shut up and just let you read them, eh?

Read moreFlashes of inspiration #8 – Entries

Share this page:

Flashes of inspiration #8 – Challenge

A woman standing by an open-casket, touching the corpse within. She catches our eye...and smiles slyly.

Evening all, I’m back from New Zealand and burning to write. Let’s get back to our Flashes of Inspiration then, shall we? A friend shared some pretty bizarre stock images on Facebook the other day, and this one grabbed me as being particularly provocative. It seems pretty clear that there’s a nasty connection between the corpse and the girl, but what’s the story behind it? Is evil looking us in the eye, does it lie in the coffin, or perhaps behind the camera? Is the body real, or is this part of an elaborate prank? There are so many possibilities whizzing through my brain. I hope you’ll join me in crafting some kind of narrative from it.

Read moreFlashes of inspiration #8 – Challenge

Share this page:

Flashes of inspiration #6 – Entries and voting

Close-up of the cracked face of an android woman. Blue eyes shine out from beneath a ragged white fringe of hair.

Morning lovelies, I won’t badger you to enter this one again. It finished last night! Are you curious to see what our writers came up with? I certainly am. If you already know how this goes then slip straight on down to read them and then vote. If you’re a newcomer to the site then I’ll briefly explain. The image above was set last week as a prompt for our writers to play with. The only constraints were the word limit (just 400) and the fact that three key words had to be included in some way – Perdition, Transform, and Decorous. Up until now, we’ve always done the contest for fun. This time there’s a prize on offer: ‘A Warning About Your Future Enslavement That You Will Dismiss as a Collection of Short Fiction and Essays by Kit Power.’ Well, what are you waiting for? Read on…

Read moreFlashes of inspiration #6 – Entries and voting

Share this page:

Flashes of inspiration #5 – Entries and voting

A gas-masked youth in leathers rides a crazed merry-go-round horse in a post-apocalyptic fun-fair.

The bell has struck, the hour has come, and all the entries are in. Thanks again for those who have submitted to Flashes of Inspiration. I realise time is short and you all have busy lives. What’s heartening is that I seem to be getting new people every time, which gives us a good variety of styles and mindsets. Who are the authors? I hear you ask. You’ll find out next week when I declare the winner. Winner? I hear you prompt – because there may be new readers here, ya know. Oh yeah, you can vote on your two favourite pieces. Take a read of the three submissions below then pick your two favourites. I hope you enjoy them.

Read moreFlashes of inspiration #5 – Entries and voting

Share this page:

Flashes of inspiration #4 – Challenge

A parade of proud druids, dressed in bright Celtic garb, passing a mighty tree..

Welcome back to the Flashes of Inspiration writing challenge. I’m sorry it’s late; yesterday was messy and frustrating on the work-front. Oh well, onwards and upwards! Previous winners are noted on each of the ‘Entries’ posts retrospectively but I feel like I haven’t been doing enough to big them up. I’ll be sure to do better in the future. Let’s start by formerly congratulating Penny Jones, who won the latest contest with a little belter called Boiler, and Alexandra Peel, our very first victor, who wrote The Weather Winder. If you fancy having a go at this next challenge, hop on over the line to get your key words.

Read moreFlashes of inspiration #4 – Challenge

Share this page:

Flashes of inspiration #3 – Entries and voting

A human skull resting on straw. Through an eye-socket weaves a buttery snake.

Morning all, the time is up and we have a new stash of flashes to read! The magic words to use this time were Huckster, Pilot, and Decoy. The word limit was 300. As ever, I’m posting them up anonymously and you’ll have one week to vote. I’ll reveal the names of the authors and announce the winner on Thursday 14th February. I should add that I’ve failed to join in again this week. Apologies. I’ve been knee-deep in editing. I’ll be rolling up my sleeves and writing again next time.

Read and enjoy.

Read moreFlashes of inspiration #3 – Entries and voting

Share this page:

Flashes of inspiration #1 – Entries and voting

Night. A transparent umbrella. A girl sheltering within, silhouetted against a fire.

Time’s up on our first Flashes of Inspiration contest. (I say contest, but it’s all in good fun.) The rules were simple. All our intrepid writers had to do was produce an engaging piece of fiction, using no more than 500 words. Any genre, any format. The featured image was open to interpretation, but the piece must include the following three words:

Isolation / Bubbling / Tribal.

Let’s take a look at what came in:

Read moreFlashes of inspiration #1 – Entries and voting

Share this page:

Flashes of inspiration #1 – Challenge

Night. A transparent umbrella. A girl sheltering within, silhouetted against a fire.

Happy New Year to you all, and welcome to the first of my Flash Fiction competitions.

You can write in any genre, any format. Experimentation is fun so try to push your boundaries. The images I post might help to evoke a tone or a setting for you but they don’t have to be taken literally. However, each of the word prompts that I post must be used somewhere in your writing. I’d like your pieces to be no longer than 500 words, please.

The submission deadline for this first flash is midnight on Wednesday 9th Jan 2019. Email them to dion@thefinetoothed.co.uk please, as my main address is playing up.

Your image prompt is up at the top and here are your first batch of words, randomly snagged from the O.E.D.

Read moreFlashes of inspiration #1 – Challenge

Share this page:
error: Content is protected !!
Skip to content