Writing flash fiction consistently is hard.
When you finally muster the courage to write you are faced with the “no ideas problem”.
Well, it is not that you don’t have ideas but they are not good enough to get you writing the flash pieces.
When the idea comes it is usually in ones and twos. It isn’t the best idea to be at the mercy of ideas.
That’s not a problem as this is a compilation of over one hundred flash fiction prompts for your different kinds of flash pieces
You can use it in different ways.
- thirty-day flash fiction challenge,
- one hundred days flash fiction challenge or write randomly from it.
Before we get into the list of flash fiction prompts, here are a few tips to help you use these ideas creatively and come up with original ideas.
How to Use Flash Fiction Writing Prompts
1. Ideas are starting points.
Take these prompts as starting points for you to begin writing and not a destination. What I mean is you don’t have to do exactly as the prompt instructs you to do. Think of the prompts as triggers to help you get complex and interesting plots for your flash stories.
2. Ideas change
When we look at an idea we try our hands at it and come up with something. It seems that we are done with the idea but we are yet to start. Depending on your state of mind and experience you will respond to a prompt differently at different times.
Try and come back to the prompt and look at each prompt both old and new with an open mind.
You will be surprised at what you come up with.
While this is a list of general prompts for flash fiction you can use these prompts for any of the genres of fiction.
With a little spin, you can adapt them to fit the genre.
When I say genre I mean the likes of
Flash Fiction Prompts
1. Write a story containing these words, stuff, river, linen, brush
2. Write a story with these words stem, battle, disgrace
3. Write a story with these words preach, champagne, wife
4. Write a flash fiction piece with these words foundation, spring, plaintiff
5. Write a flash fiction with these words error, hard, art, arch
6. Write a flash fiction with principle, thrust, sculpture
7. Write a flash fiction that contains the words bird, resign, gift
8. Ahead, prefer omnivore.
9. Object, consequences, understand
10. Beer, thought, hotel
In our lives and the things, we do there are cycles. These cycles might be simple or complex of simpler cycles.
11. Write a story on the cycle of a character’s day.
12. WrIte a story that revolves around the cycle of a task.
13. Write a story on the cycle of an event. It could be a traditional ceremony.
Think of it as a picture worth more than a thousand words.
The timeline of the story is brief.
14. Write a flash fiction where the character is searching for something.
15. Write a story where your character doesn’t change location from the beginning to the ending.
16. Write a story that happens in sixty seconds
17. Write a story that happens in five minutes.
18. Write a story that happens in ten years in one thousand words.
19. Write a story happening during heavy rainfall.
What is flash fiction without characters? It won’t be a story without someone to stand and see from their lens.
20. Write a story where your character waits for inspiration but the wait is interrupted
21. Write a story where your character has a dream but the reality is worse than the dream
22. Write a story chronicling the final days of a character breakup.
23. Write a story where your character is dealing with the death of a loved one.
24. Write a story where your character meets a strange mythical animal.
25. Write a story where your character loses a pet and the quest to find it
26. Write a story where your character loses his id
27. Write a story where your character loses his ability to forget.
28. Write a story where a character is confused for someone else and the character takes on this person
Every character has a first time and first day.
29. Write a story in which it is your characters first day at work
30. Write a story where it is the first day your character is driving.
31. Write a story where it is the first day of your character shopping.
32. Write a story where it the first day of your character on a date
33. Write a story where it is the first time your character is in a neighborhood
34. Write a story where it is the first time your character is pregnant.
35. Write a story where it is the first time your character witness someone dying
When John Grisham was interviewed he said he started his stories with the end in mind.
Writing the end of your story might work for you. Once the end of the story is known you can reverse your way back to the beginning.
36. Write a story ending with she smiled and left
37. Write a story that ends with ” I never really thought of it”
38. Write a story that ends with “The house was silent waiting for his arrival”
39. Write a story that ends with ” I ate the last chocolate and slept”.
40. Write a story that ends with If I am still alive.
41. Write a story that ends with” she knows this is only the beginning”
42. Write a story that starts with ” In the house before the music starts.”
43. Write a story that starts with ” I told them not to look..”
44. Write a story that starts with “The chickens first saw..”
45. Write a flash fiction that starts with ” The cock didn’t crow this morning”
46. Write a flash fiction that starts with ” The last time I saw..”
47. Write a story that starts with” your voice calls out memories”
48. Write a story that starts with “Are you really sure you know him?”
What is left of the past most times is the memories and souvenirs.
These things are like portals that remind us of the past without which we can not trigger some of those memories.
Without these things, it would be difficult to travel into time and memory lane.
49. Write a story where a character is reminded of an event, object, pet, or person through a picture.
50. Write a story where the character is changing the memories and they all mix up it is difficult to tell which happened and which was thought up
51. Write a story where an occurrence in the past is repeated with the same or completely different person’s
At the same time and day
52. Write a story where a character forgets that he forgets.
53. Write a story where the character is trying to make friends
What we see depends on how we see it. The same story when told from a different perspective can become different with different stakes and conflict. There are a few approaches to doing this.
- Change the point of view of a story
- Change the protagonist of the story
How about we change the perspective by changing the character narrating the story.
54. Write a story where the pet witnessed death for the first time.
55. Write a story from the perspective of a cushioned chair.
56. Write a story on the loss of memory. It could be based on the gradual loss. Another approach could be the conflict in the story is because of memory loss.
57. Write the same story but with multiple pieces where you change the main characters in the story.
58. Write a story where you are telling the story of the main adult character from the perspective of a child.
With first days there are also last days. They are memorable because they mark the end of time and the beginning of another.
59. Write a story where it is your character’s last day on earth.
60. Write a story on the last day of a program.
61. Write a story on the last day of a character at work.
It doesn’t always have to be the last day, it could be the last few days before a character dies of an illness they have been struggling with for a long time.
62. Write a story on the last day a character spends in a town.
Using Random words
In this exercise, you try and see how you can include all the words into a story.
The association of these random words can help you come up with ideas for your next story.
63. Fuse, intuit, outage
64. Subdue, touch, vault
65. Compassion, disgust, finger
66. Greet, hero, middle
67. Ninety, perfume, predict
68. Self, toast, tough
69. Wife, string, champagne
70. Bird, spring, carpet
71. Sculpture, imposter, principle
72. Reflect, tin, exclude
Sometimes all we need is to start and once we start, going on is not as difficult as getting started.
Feel free to rephrase these sentences.
73. She appears not to have heard me.
74. He puts on his coat
75. The policeman is about to report
76. We are just looking into that
77. Why not
78. We have to stay because we have not yet received…
79. “It was not he who invited us to the celebration.’
Every story has a concept or theme it touches mainly or slightly. While these concepts are big. It doesn’t mean that the story has to be that big.
For example, love is a concept with diverse ways of approaching it.
80. What you could do is
Write a story capturing the days leading to the break up of a once hopeful relationship.
81. Write a story of a character’s life after the break up struggling to cope.
The idea and concept of friendship are broad and you could take a pinch from it.
We all have that friend in our life.
82. Write a story that starts with a character talking to his friend.
83 . Write a story where a character is trying to make new friends.
84. A character’s life is going smoothly until they make a new friend. Everything changes and they make a turn towards another direction.
84. Write a story where you take any of the prompts and write the story from another character narrating the story of two other characters.
85. Write a flash story that starts and ends on a dining table. You could change the setting but it has to start and end on a dining table.
86. Write a flash fiction where a character discovers the secrets of another character from their diary.
87. Write a story where your character is trying to test the validity of a fantasy theory, belief, object, etc.
88. Write a story where no one in the story knows what is going on not even the reader until the end.
89. Write a story where a character writes a letter to another character narrating how he dealt with grief. It could be from the loss of a loved one.
90. Write a story that takes place in a camp.
91. Start and end your flash fiction with the word “nothing”.
92. Write your story that ends with the character making a phone call.
93. Write a story that starts with your character counting currency notes.
94. Write a story where the beginning is the end and the end is the beginning. Like a character that dies at the beginning while the flash fiction goes back to the time before the death to find the cause of his death.
95. Write a story that starts with a character taking a sip from a cup.
96. Write a story where a character tries to kill himself.
97. Write a story that ends with a character checking an item on her to-do list.
98. Write a flash fiction that starts with “once upon a time”.
99. Write a story that starts with a character checking the time on the wristwatch.
100. Write a story that is an answer to a question like.
- How to be rich
- How to look down on the stars
- Why is the sky blue.
It could be humorous or serious.
101. Write a story that ends with a dog barking.
When it comes to writing flash fiction it can take as long as you give it. expanding to fill the time.
The first problem is the idea. The time we spend looking for an idea, something good enough for us to start with.
The story can change when we start but that is only if we start.
The actual time spent typing on the keyboard when writing flash fiction is less than an hour. This depends on your writing speed and the medium you are using to write.
As I come up with better flash fiction ideas I will add them to the list.
Which of the flash fiction prompts truly got you thinking of stories and ideas spiraling in your head.
I would love to know let me know in the comment section.
Thank you for reading.
Go write a flash story.