Tag Archive | 1984

Flash! Friday: Vol 3 – 32

WELCOME to the newest round of Flash! Friday!!!! Today finds me in the middle of yet another battle of online Scrabble with my mother, who is a terrifying and formidable opponent. This is in part because she is an incredibly bright and clever woman; but it’s also because I never know which mother I’m up against: the one who crushes me by two hundred points thanks to mysterious words I would have sworn weren’t a natural part of her lexicon (Me: “Are you cheating, Mommy?!” Her: “Think it’s going to rain today?”), or the indulgent one who goes out of her way to shower me with points (“Another Triple Word Score open for you, honey! Do you have an S?”).

She’s currently (only) 30 points ahead this round, and she just played so an R hovers above a TW. To use the TW, I need a six-letter word starting with R; my letters are A H L E D A R.

Scrabble board

–Please tweet your suggestions to me @postupak so for once she’s not the only one playing with mysterious genius. 

COPYRIGHT REMINDER!  Parodies and derivations of public domain stories (like fairy tales) are welcome, but otherwise please be sure to use your own invented characters and world in your stories; using copyrighted characters will summon the Evil Dragons Of Lawsuits to the lair. Thank you for understanding.

WALL OF FLAME!!! DID YOU KNOW that if you write stories at least three Fridays in a month, you’re eligible to win a Ring of Fire badge for that month? (And did you realize today is the third Friday of July already?!) Each badge nets you a chance at a sparkly prize basket at year’s end; details here.


DC2***WELCOME NEW JUDGES*** Join me this week in welcoming to the judging table Dragon Team Seven, the devastatingly talented captains IfeOluwa Nihinlola & Nancy Chenier! For his part, IfeOluwa loves innovation. “Let the prompt soar on dragon wings,” says IfeOluwa. “Shock the prompt with your imagination.” Speaking of dragons, Nancy freely confesses her love for all things speculative. But whether or not a story is speculative, she says, “I like works that can ground me in concrete imagery and evoke real emotions.” I’m thinking this is going to be a crazy fun round! 


Awards Ceremony: Results will post Monday. Noteworthy #SixtySeconds interviews with the previous week’s winner post Thursdays.  

* Today’s required word count: 200 – 225 words (minimum 200, maximum 225, not counting title/byline)

How to enterPost your story here in the comments. Be sure to include your word count (this week’s min 200 – max 225 words, excluding title/byline), the two story elements you based your story on, and Twitter handle if you’ve got one. If you’re new, don’t forget to check the contest guidelines.

Deadline: 11:59pm ET tonight (check the world clock if you need to; Flash! Friday is on Washington, DC time)

Winners: will post Monday.

Prize: The Flash! Friday e-dragon e-badge for your blog/wall, your own winner’s page here at FF, a 60-second interview next Thursday, and your name flame-written on the Dragon Wall of Fame for posterity.


This week’s novel inspiration: 1984 by George Orwell, in which a historian secretly rebels against the oppressive government he works for.

Story elements (base your story on any TWO of these; be sure to tell us which two you chose. Reminder: please do not use copyrighted characters):

* Conflict: man vs society (government)
Character: historian
Theme(s): Censorship and/or totalitarianism
Setting: dystopia (near-future society ruled by an evil, oppressive government)

OPTIONAL PHOTO PROMPT (for inspiration only; it is NOT REQUIRED for your story):

Riot Police. CC2.0 photo by Thomas Hawk.

Riot Police. CC2.0 photo by Thomas Hawk.

Sixty Seconds with: Whitney Healy

Ten answers to ten questions in 20 words or fewer. That’s less time than it takes to burn a match*.

(*Depending on the length of the match and your tolerance for burned fingers, obviously)


Our newest Flash! Friday (two-time!) winner is Whitney Healy.  Read her winning story here, then take one minute to get to know her better. (Note: since it’s her second win, we’re giving her a few extra words.)

1) What about the prompt inspired you to write your winning piece? I could tell I’d have to think about it more than others. I didn’t know where my writing would take me, and that was appealing.

2) Do you outline, or are you more of a discovery writer? Usually I’m a discovery writer. I like to see how a piece develops with little planning. With larger projects, though, I web.

3) How would you describe your writing style? Stream-of-consciousness and fragmented, which allows for extreme character development. My process is like a juke box: I’m never sure what’s going to occur next.

4) When did you begin writing fiction? I wrote my first story in 3rd or 4th grade; it was about my family pets (a dog and two cats) going to space. I even illustrated it!

5) Introduce us to a favorite character in one of your stories. Goldstein: a hot-headed, arrogant, early-twenties male who is challenging the current government and government officials (important character in current dystopian work).

6) What books have influenced your life the most? Oh, so many. I’ll choose five: 1) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Joyce); 2) House of Night series (PC & Kristin Cast); 3) 1984 (Orwell); 4) Brave New World (Huxley); 5) Where the Red Fern Grows (Rawls). 

7) What are you currently reading? Lord of the Flies. I haven’t read it since high school, and I wanted to see how my perspective had changed since reaching adulthood. 

8) How do you combat writer’s block? Since my style is normally discovery-based, I’ll sometimes make a web or make lists to come up with ideas. Other times, a hot shower has worked.  

9) What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?  I had a college instructor named Professor Lumpkin. She gave us the assignment to “turn off your computer screen and just write.” It’s amazing how much this lifted inhibition: it also generated one of my most powerful works of nonfiction. 

10) What do you admire most about dragons? Most can fly. I’d like that. What a method of getting away from it all!