A month of so ago I saw a submission for a Flash Fiction magazine. They gave you two sets of words and the rules were that you had to use two of the words from Group A and one of the words from Group B and be no more than 55 words. I submitted a handful, didn’t get picked, but I ended up using it as an experiment. Could I break down the concept of my different ideas into a 55 word action sequence. Using specific words was the challenge.
(the bolded words are the ones that needed to be included)
Jim Derlay, born Ginder Lai, easily jumped the wide and roaring river. He landed on the far bank lightly, his keen eyes finding the trail. If he wasn’t an elf of Albion, he would have lost it in the rain. But the elf of Asgard would not lose him here on Earth. He had her. (55 words)
With the dawn Captain Ezra Jacks looked out across the thick canopy of treetops that formed the green sea. His ship floated above, held up by the magnetic lines. The ceaseless wind blew the trees, the leaves thick and connected as if one surface. The destination, a rocky island mountain kingdom rose above the canopy. (55 words)
Arliss heard the roar of the dragon. She turned, the sun behind her, and watched the beast soar over the mountains. Lifting her hand, she traced a finger through the air, light following behind forming a rune. A tear was opened in the shroud and the magic poured out as she commanded. (52 words)
In the garden, Winchester fought. Surrounded by robots, their gears clicking and their steam engines sputtering, he punched out with his brass arm. Sparks flew as the brass fist connected with the robot, electricity coursing down the arm. The robot fell, and Winchester turned to the next one, dozens more waiting. (51 words)
The wheatfield to his left, the river to his right, Garrison ran along the bank. In one hand he held his knife, the rune etched sgian-dubh, the other held a pistol with silver bullets. In the distance ahead he could hear the cries and the moaning of the banshee. He would be too late. (54 words)
Sighting down the gun’s barrel, Jad crouched in the wheatfield. The dragon had flown by earlier, and the orcs ahead were following. The beast had flown into the ruins of Boston, no power, destroyed and covered in vines. He was tempted to not follow, there was worse things there than orcs and dragons. (53 words)
I think I did a decent job breaking down the core of the various properties. Only one of these is currently being used (and the character in the flash fiction hasn’t appeared yet) and the others may not ever see the light of day.
But it was a fun little experiment/challenge.