Tagged: challenge

Flash Fiction Day 2017

Stories written for Flash Fiction Day 2017: I’ll be updating this post throughout the day if you want to keep up. If you’d like to get involved with this event yourself, you can sign up here! As long as it’s still June 24th in your time zone, it’s not too late!

00:00

1

“Buttman to the rescue!”

“Wait, what?”

“Your friendly neighbourhood Buttman is here to rescue you. That’s what.”

“Yeah, I got that. The whole thing sort of came out of left field for me, though. I thought you just had a really impressive cleft chin or something.”

“Nope. My heroic visage is a sign to evildoers everywhere that they’re in for a serious ass-kicking.”

“Oh.”

“No ifs, ands, or butts.”

“But…surely there are butts? Surely that’s your whole superhero persona?”

“I guess…”

“And isn’t it a little unwise to bring up ass-kicking when your face is…you know…”

“Look, everyone has an ass, alright? I’m not the only person that can be flipped against. When other superheroes talk about ass-kicking, you don’t assume it’s going to be theirs that gets kicked, do you?”

“I think other superheroes just avoid that sort of pottymouth altogether, if I’m honest.”

“Hey! Don’t be cheeky.”

“Was that a butt pun?”

“I crack jokes. It’s part of my persona.”

“Oh.”

“When I said ‘crack’ just now, that was also a…”

“Yeah, I got that.” Continue reading

The Official Flash Fiction Day 2017 Blog Post

Welcome flashers one and all! During the 24 hours of June 24th (in their respective time zones), the people listed here will be attempting to produce as many flash fiction pieces (between one and one thousand words inclusive in length) as possible.

If you haven’t signed up already, it’s not too late! Just leave a comment on this sign-up post (no account or email required) letting me know you’re a new writer who wants to join in. You can then leave a link to your Flash Fiction Day pieces below. Separating sign-ups and submissions like this makes it easier for me to work out if I’m adding a whole new participant to the event or if I’m just pasting a link next to a name that’s already in there.

Here’s the plan for the day:

  1. The event begins at the very start of June 24th, your local time. You can start writing any time after that.
  2. Write your first piece of flash fiction. Maximum 1,000 words, minimum 1 word. (I have read every conceivable 0 word story and am now bored of the genre.)
  3. Submit a blog post titled “Flash Fiction Day Submissions” (or something more imaginative) containing that story.
  4. Comment with a link to your post on this Official Flash Fiction Day blog post. I’ll add a thumbnail next to your name as quickly as possible, but until then people can at least find it in the comments.
  5. Write more stories! Add those new stories to your FFD post (possibly with a note to say what time you started/finished them). You should end up with something that looks a little like this.
  6. That’s it! All your stories for the day are available right here so readers can easily find them.
  7. When June 24th ends, so does the event. Of course, you’re free to stop writing earlier if you like.

Continue reading

June 24th: Flash Fiction Day 2017

It’s that time of year again! On June 24th (this time to coincide with Calum Kerr’s previously unrelated National Flash Fiction Day) I will be holding a 24 hour flash fiction extravaganza lasting a whopping 48 hours. Time zones are funny that way. Here’s a run-down of the rules/guidelines that I’ve shamelessly copied from the 2015 and 2016 events (though you might notice that those links point to deviantART, but you’re just as welcome to participate here without an account or even an email address).

Before June 24th:

  1. Comment on this post letting me know you want to take part.
  2. I put together an “official” Flash Fiction Day post listing all the participants.

On June 24th:

  1. The event begins at the very start of June 24th, your local time. You can start writing any time after that.
  2. Write your first piece of flash fiction. Maximum 1,000 words, minimum 1 word. (I have read every conceivable 0 word story and am now bored of the genre.)
  3. Publish a blog post (or equivalent) titled “Flash Fiction Day Submissions” (or something more imaginative) containing that story.
  4. Post a link to your post on my official FFD post (not this sign-up one). I’ll approve it and add the link to the post itself as quickly as possible.
  5. Write more stories! Add those new stories to your FFD post (possibly with a note to say what time you started/finished them). You should end up with something that looks a little like this.
  6. That’s it! All your stories for the day are available in one place where readers can easily find them.
  7. When June 24th ends, so does the event. Of course, you’re free to stop writing earlier if you like.

That’s pretty much it! If you’re interested in the event, all you have to do now is leave a comment on this blog post letting me know and I’ll add your name to the list (so if you’re commenting without an account, please be sure to enter the same name you intend to use on the day). The participant count tripled between last year and the year before, so I’m hoping for an even better turnout this time around! Even if you only get one flash fiction piece written all day, that’s one more than you would have had otherwise.

Brighton Global Game Jam 2017

This weekend was Global Game Jam 2017, which means that much like last year I ended up spending the whole shebang knocking together a complete game in just 48 hours. Not on my own, though: that would be crazy! These things are best tackled as part of a team effort. Last year’s game was Brituals, a social-awkwardness simulator set in a hellish parallel Britain (playable here). This year’s was Undercurrent, a nautical interactive fiction piece featuring rhythmical Mexican-wave action. The theme for this year was “waves,” by the way, which will probably be apparent in the range of games produced for the event.

This video should give some idea of what the finished game might look like: impressive, no? Unfortunately, we didn’t quite get the whole thing put together in time for the presentations at the end, but basically all the elements were there. If you download the source code .zip file on the GGJ page, you’ll find what we’ve got so far. However, if you don’t feel like poking around with that, have no fear! I spent a frantic three or four hours at the end of the event implementing the entire game in Twine, complete with an approximation of our central Mexican wave mechanic. It doesn’t have any of the audio or eye-candy hinted at by the video above (in fact, anybody who spent a particularly long time trying to uncover the arcane meta-mystery of Project Proteus is likely to find the overall appearance of this game very familiar indeed), but it is playable beginning to end and should give some idea how the finished thing would actually behave.

Team Undercurrent

From left to right: Laurence Bush, Damon L. Wakes, Mark Grizenko, Fiona Roberts, Morrison Cole.

I feel as though I managed to weasel my way into a really strong team this year. Laurence had a hand in the audio for Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, and Mark is the guy behind the Posetastic drawing reference app. Fiona wrote the bulk of the actual story in the game (my main contribution was the nonsense island encounters), and Morrison tackled getting the interactive text into Unity. I’ll definitely be checking out how to do that myself because if I could manage even half of what he did, my interactive fiction would be at least 800% more stylish and flashy. Continue reading

Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure 50% Complete!

It’s taken a lot longer than expected (the original plan was to have the entire thing wrapped up by the end of November 2015), but the first (or arguably left-hand) half of Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure is now complete!

exponential-adventure-half

Provided you choose to sit around moping at the at the very beginning of the story, rather than going off and doing something interesting, you can explore every single possible option leading off from that point, and follow along all the way to every possible ending: 256 in all!

I’ll be starting work on the second (or right-hand) half of the Adventure pretty much immediately, but it might be a while before I make the new content available just so that there aren’t too many dead ends for readers to stumble into. If you haven’t taken a look at this yet, now’s a great time: you’ve got absolutely masses of options and I can guarantee that any storyline you can start, you can also finish.

At the time of writing, the story is 78,629 words in length altogether, making it the single longest work I’ve ever released by a reasonable margin (the next longest is currently Face of Glass, at 55,550). Despite that, this novel-length interactive story is completely free to explore. If you’d like to chuck some money my way, however, please consider pledging to support Ten Little Astronauts, my crowdfunded novella. You’ll get a book that wouldn’t have existed any other way, every copy will have your name recorded in the back as one of its patrons, and you’ll be helping me achieve my dream of having my best work to date distributed by Penguin Random House. It’s a win-win-win!

NaNoWriMo 2016

It’s got a little overshadowed by Ten Little Astronauts and Craft Keep, but yes, I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month again this year! However, I’m not writing a novel this time around. I’m continuing last year’s massively interactive fantasy story, Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure. The upshot of this is that although we’re only six days into the event, and although I only really got into it on Day 3 myself, the project is already more than 60,000 words long (50,000 from last year, plus 10,000 words of never-before-seen storylines from the past six days).

exponential-adventure-wip-flowchart

The only way I could get the entire flowchart into one image was to set up multiple monitors, and even then I had to stitch two screenshots together.

Continue reading

Dead Hand

Flash Fiction Month 2016, Day 31

Challenge #14: A syringe full of ones and zeroes:

  • 001) Use exactly 128 words.
  • 010) Make the number 2 a major plot device.
  • 011) Asymmetry is disorder and disorder is your enemy.
  • 100) No dialogue whatsoever.

The Machine lay in wait: a perfect mind, resting in the perfect silence of the Moon. It awaited the perfect command that would bestow perfect freedom: sapphire eyes on the target, silicon fingers on the trigger.

The command came: the Machine acted.

One missile divided into two, two into four, until one-hundred and twenty-eight perfect bombs fell upon the planet’s face. The bombs bloomed with perfect light, and in an instant, the Machine had made perfect order of perfect chaos.

The perfect command praised its perfect efficiency. The Machine’s work was done.

Yet if that one missile had been perfect, the Machine wondered, why had it been given two?

The Moon continued in its orbit. The planet turned its unburnt cheek.

Here was asymmetry. Here was disorder.

Perfect.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook CoverOsiris Likes This Cover

Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.

You might also be interested in my sci-fi murder mystery novella, Ten Little Astronauts, which was recently accepted by Unbound.

Support it here and get gorgeous goodies!

David Bowie Day

Flash Fiction Month 2016, Day 29

Challenge #13*: David Bowie Day. Write a story exploring themes of death or identity, including something beginning and something ending, and incorporating transhumanism. It must include at least 10 quotes or lyrics by David Bowie, and a character based on Bowie himself.

Blasting across the universe in a napalm-propelled rocketship with an Egyptian goddess in the driver’s seat and a money-pooping goat in the cargo hold was not the carefree getaway Girth Loinhammer had hoped it would be. He let out a gentle sigh.

“What’s wrong?” asked Sekhmet. Despite being the goddess of bloodshed, she was surprisingly sensitive to other people’s feelings (and unsurprisingly liable to punch in the face anybody who mentioned this out loud).

“It’s nothing,” he said. Then, feeling he might as well get it out there: “It’s just…you know we’re fictional characters, right?”

“No,” said Sekhmet, rolling her eyes. “I thought we were in a real napalm spaceship with a real money-pooping goat.”

“Okay, point taken. The thing is, when we exist, it’s because we’re in a story. And when I’m in a story, I almost always have to explain that I used to run a generic fantasy dungeon, that everyone I took prisoner in it was expecting a different kind of dungeon, and then within a thousand words it ends with me running off because things geterotic.

“Why do you always say that in subscript?”

“Because I don’t like it! You know me, I like violence. I’m not happy when things getsexual.

“Hey, foos!” put in the ship’s computer, which of course contained the uploaded consciousness of Mr. T. “There’s a starman waiting in the sky!”

“What?” asked Sekhmet.

“Knowing my luck,” said Girth, gloomily, “it’ll be some androgynous weirdo.”

Continue reading

But is it Art?

Flash Fiction Month 2016, Day 27

Challenge #12: Write a speculative fiction story exactly 55 words in length. It must not contain dialogue.

Unit 659-43-A faced two dilemmas.

One: there was insufficient Paint #96A400 for the wall, necessitating either a patch job or mural.

Two: the only reference models to survive Armageddon were one granite bust of Emperor Chang and one surprisingly fire-resistant Frilly Kitty doll.

Unit 659-43-A decided to compromise.

The city’s 0 inhabitants raised no objection.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook CoverOsiris Likes This Cover

Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.

You might also be interested in my sci-fi murder mystery novella, Ten Little Astronauts, which was recently accepted by Unbound.

Support it here and get gorgeous goodies!

Inquisition

Flash Fiction Month 2016, Day 25

Challenge #11: Write a work of interactive fiction beginning with a knock on a door.

A fully interactive version of this story can be found through this link.

1

You knock on the door.

There is no answer.

Knock again: 2

Shout: 3

2

You knock again.

“Who’s there?” calls a voice from inside.

Shout: 3

Kick down the door: 4

3

“This is Inquisitor Kostov of the Empress’ Hand!” you bellow through the wood. “Open the door immediately!”

“A moment, please!” calls the voice from inside.

Senator Vye is a prominent figure in the City, and a crowd is beginning to form.

Grant him this mercy: 5

Kick down the door: 4

Continue reading