Flash Fiction Challenge: Developing Characters

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your humble host

It’s that time again, when we seek out new ways to challenge our writing muscles and have some fun in the process.

 Today’s Flash Fiction Challenge involves a bit of mental endurance. Probably.

We need great characters to make great stories. PLOT is just a vehicle for the characters in our heads to come out and play. Characters are what makes a story awesome.

Now, if the characters just sit around, that’s gonna suck, too, but trust me, even with a great plot, if readers don’t like/identify with/enjoy your characters, your story is going nowhere.

That’s why I’ve decided to create some interesting character types and YOU get to create them.

Using the info below in the list, write up to 1000 words and make the identified character a part of the world.

Yes, YOU get to play God. Kind of.

Here’s the list :

  • A vicious duchess who has taken over the country with a powerful artifact.
  • A talkative fire elemental that appears as a woman.
  • A monster who lives in the closet in a converted barn.
  • A hot-headed cyborg
  • A happy-go-lucky, gorgeous man with the knowledge to save the world
  • A sassy, striking old woman with a body in the closet and a lust for power who comes from a primitive world
  • A homely old woman with a strange hat and a love for good food is looking for a place to stay.
  • A dentist hiding her short term memory disorder
  • A calculating male werewolf.
  • A flirty, ordinary-looking teenager with a wheelchair
  • A sadistic alien sorcerer who commands an army of enhanced soldiers but is somewhat short-sighted.
  • A short-tempered, fine-featured young adult with a strange lamp

Here’s the setting:

A western. With a cat or several cats.

Yeah, I said it. Cats.

Think True Grit. John Wayne’s not True Grit, that dopey remake with The Dude. Even though Glenn Campbell was in it, the original still ROCKED. Note to Hollywood: no more remakes. They suck.

Not a cat fan or western lover? Me, neither. Hey, go off on your own direction, then. Cat people were upset when I excluded them last week so I’m making up for it. Probably. I may have just been drunk. Cat Western. Seemed hilarious at the time. Right, Allison?

Okay, where were we? Oh, yeah. The Rules. And an ad for my book.

Authors 3 Dorminy

The Navigators $2.99, FREE with Kindle Unlimited. Click HERE to get your copy!


  1. You write 1000 words more or less on the topic
  2. Post it on your blog
  3. No blog? Post it below in the comments section
  4. Reference us on your blog and this challenge so your regular readers don’t think you’ve gone over the edge.
  5. Post the link to your story here in the comments section.
  6. You have until Friday, one week from today, at 12 noon EST, that’s Tampa Florida US of A time, for those of you who live elsewhere.

Come up with something good, but remember time flies. Be sure to get your entry in before the deadline, Jenny!

Be sure to reblog this so your readers know what you’re up to, and invite as many people to play as you want. It’s all in good fun.

Okay, get to it!

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Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the amazingly great sci fi action thriller “The Navigators.” Click HERE to get your copy of The Navigators – FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

14 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Developing Characters

  1. Ok here’s my short story. My subject was a flirtatious teenager in a wheelchair.

    He stared at me. The blinds were supposed to be closed, but one slat remained open and every time I looked up, his eyes were there. The parallel bars were more challenging than usual and I hoped my strength would hold out. To fall with such a pair of eyes watching would be beyond embarrassing.
    “Well done, Essie,” my physical therapist said as she guided me toward my wheelchair.
    She handed me a towel so I could wipe the sweat off my forehead. “Your upper body strength has improved a lot.”
    Her wide smile told me how pleased she was to know my biceps had gone from flabby to firm. As if that would cause me to walk again. No, that would never happen.
    “Look.” She liked to start a sentence with that word. “I have a few minutes before my next appointment. I’ll just get that prescription for you. That way you won’t have to wait.”
    She leaned over and helped me put my feet on the footrests. “Look, I like your shoes.”
    “Thanks.” I had to smile back. She always managed to be in a good mood.
    “Just wait outside for me if you want.”
    He sat there, the owner of the eyes. He appeared to be my age, eighteen, maybe nineteen. His disability requiring physical therapy was not in evidence, except for the cane next to him. Probably broke his leg skiing.
    “Hi.” He smiled.
    I stopped my chair next to him. It jerked a little. “Hello.” And because small talk had been eliminated since my accident,I kept going. “You were staring at me.”
    His eyebrows went up, “Sorry. I’ve seen you here before.”
    For the same reason, I stared him straight in the eye. “What happened to your leg? Skiing?”
    He gave a little laugh. “No. What about you?”
    “Drunk driver. I’m a paraplegic now.”
    Usually, that did it. Their faces would crumple, or they simply looked away or changed the subject. He didn’t, just nodded.
    “Nice shoes.”
    “I got tired of people staring at my legs, so I give them something to stare at now. I decorated them myself in occupational therapy.”
    “I like them.” He pointed to the tips of my sneakers. “Are those meant to be balloons? They’re the wrong shape.”
    “Not balloons although everyone thinks they are.”
    He nodded. “Tears, right?”
    How did he know? I shrugged my shoulders trying to look nonplussed, but blinked several times to hide the moisture that gathered at the edges of my lashes. “The shoes help my foot drop. It’s when—.”
    “I know what it is.” He interrupted but his voice had a soft, resigned inflection.
    That stopped me from chattering. “You weren’t skiing, were you?”
    He shook his head. He met my eyes as directly as I had, his expression flat, “It’s called osteosarcoma. They had to take a lot of muscle and bone, after the chemo.”
    “Oh.” How I had misjudged him.”How are you now?”
    “They say I have a good chance for a full recovery, although I have to go for chest X-rays every six months or so.”
    “That’s the first place the cancer metastasizes to. They didn’t tell me that when I was first in the hospital, but I looked it up on Google. My parents took the Internet off my phone as soon as we found out what it was.”
    “How did you Google it then?”
    His grin transformed into a smirk. “I borrowed my roommate’s phone. He understood.”
    I stopped for a moment to take that all in. When I looked up from my lap his eyes hadn’t moved.
    “Did you finish school?”
    “I went for awhile but it wasn’t the same. I’m home schooled now.”
    “Me too. I went from cheerleader to freak in twenty-four hours. Did you have a girlfriend?”
    He nodded, not at all put off by my nosiness.”She wouldn’t touch me after I was diagnosed. I think she thought it was contagious.”
    I laughed. “My boyfriend and I broke up. He kept saying stupid things like, ‘Can you feel this?’ I think by then I was an experiment to him.”
    “You know, a thing to be crossed off on a list, along with contortionist twins or something.”
    He laughed then. “What’s your name?”
    “Esmeralda, but my friends call me Essie.”
    “Wow your mom must have read The Hunchback of Notre Dame a few times.”
    I smiled. People usually didn’t make the connection. “I guess.”
    “Mine’s just plain Steven.”
    His hand felt smooth and cool in my moist one. His eyes were rimmed with hints of grayish purple, and his cheekbones stuck out a little too much. Remnants of his illness?
    “Are you in a hurry? Can you have coffee with me after my appointment?”
    “I can’t drink coffee. It reacts with some of my medicines.” I paused and tilted my head to the side. “Tea is OK though.”
    He smiled again and not one of those forced, obligatory gestures. No, it reached all the way to his eyebrows.
    “I like tea better anyway.”

    Liked by 2 people

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