The Art of Fast Fiction, at Whitechapel

Posted: 8 January 2012 in comics, fiction, skills, writing
Tags: , , , ,

The following post has gone up at Whitechapel, the board started by Warren Ellis, but fairly recently taken over in a bloody, horrific coup by Si Spurrier, the superbly talented writer of [recently] X-Club and A Serpent Uncoiled:

You know, I was going to call this The F-art Fiction Challenge, but Si overruled me.

As some of you may be aware, I had a writing thing going for several years entitled The Fast Fiction Challenge. The rules were simple: people challenged me with a four word title and a word to use in the tale and I wrote them a story of exactly 200 words.

I answered about 500 challenges, and in 2010 wrote 150 stories in 150 days. And yes, I published a couple of collections of the stories.

Well, Si and I got together over Christmas and decided it was about time I did some more of the stories. And it felt like an opportunity to widen the spectrum of art-challenges for you guys on this board.

Hence this new challenge:

The Art of Fast Fiction


Monday morning, 9th January, I’m going to put up a previously written Fast Fiction. It’ll be exactly 200 words, as previously stated.

Artists here will have until Saturday evening, say midnight British time, (4pm Pacific) to put up either a one panel spot illustration or a two page comic book depiction of the entire story. Hey, I’m limited to 200 words – you’re limited to two pages. The art can be pencilled, inked, coloured, lettered… entirely up to you.

Saturday night/Sunday morning, Si and I will pick a winner and announce it. The winner gets to pick a new four word title and word (no matter how weird or mundane) and let us know, and I’ll write a new story which will go up on Monday at noon UK time… which will start the whole thing running again.

So you get six days, (Monday through Saturday) to showcase your art and/or story-telling abilities.

Something we have to be very firm on upfront: this isn’t a call for anyone else to write new prose stories here or to suggest story ideas. As has been stated here before, the moment we start inviting folks to post their own fiction we get into all sorts of trouble. So: this is ART ONLY. The only thing the winner gets is to suggest the title and (occasionally, at my whim) possibly an extra challenge to make it a bit more fun for everyone involved.

(As an example of the latter, I was once challenged to write one in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet; someone else wanted one in which more than 50% of the tale was told in dialogue, and yes someone once challenged me, entirely within the rules of the challenge, to write a 200 word sex scene.*)

OK, let’s see how this goes, yes?

See you Monday Morning.

So that’s it. This could be interesting, yes? Drop by and join in, why don’t you?

* Yeah, like I’m going to link to that one.

  1. Littlepurplegoth says:

    Read. Bookmarked. Etc.

    Will then doubtless spend ages going ‘I wish I could draw like that…’

  2. Vix says:

    I’m not an artsy type but I’ve sent the link out to a couple of folk who might be up for the challenge.

  3. Thank you!

    It went live this morning…

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