So a couple of days ago as I was perusing my WP Reader I came across a brilliant post from Fantasy in Motion – the 3 minute story challenge! Writing on a deadline or a word limit is an excellent way to test both your stamina and your creativity. I’m a fan of these fly by the seat of your pants challenges because you never know where they might go. Characters develop, plots unfold, and oftentimes, you have a full-blown short on your hands in addition to your microfiction introduction. For today, we’re upping the time limit to 5 minutes to allow for a little more breathing room, and I’m changing the rules up a little bit.
- Before beginning, you are allowed to develop a rough idea of a character, but don’t take more than a minute or so. You want to stay focused on what you’re going to be able to cram into five minutes, so avoid trying to develop lengthy history or complex plots
- You are also allowed to develop a rough idea of a setting/scene, just use the same here-and-now approach as with any characters.
- No editing after the fact, though you are allowed to fix spelling and simple typos.
- Note that the story doesn’t have to be complete. It can just be a snippet, so don’t think in terms of a completed mini-short story.
- Finally, your story must somehow incorporate the emotion anger.
Once you’ve completed the challenge, post your story to your blog and challenge your own readers to undertake the endeavor. Happy writing!
They moved quickly down the sidewalk, weaving in and out of the intermittent lamplight. Party-goers and pedestrians stayed out of their path instinctively, dodging into doorways and across the street before being caught in their sights. The pair, one man and one woman, were dressed identically in long coats, collars pulled high. The man wore a hat low over his eyes, and though the woman’s head was bare, her riotous red hair hid her face. The sound of her heels on the pavement was the only real sound they made.
He stopped between two pools of lamplight, and she caught up short a few steps ahead of him.
“What is it?” she demanded.
He tilted his head, revealing the barest glimmer of jaw and nose, and sniffed the air. “They’re close.”
She shook her head. “Boss said they moved through here quickly.”
“Yeah, well, Boss was wrong.” He turned his head slightly so that she could see his eyes—see the animal he barely controlled moving across his irises. “I can smell her.” He snarled.
As she turned her senses outward, she thought again that something about this chase was personal to him. A jilted lover, perhaps? She might not possess the same personal motivation, but the pressure on them was real enough, as were the consequences. She wanted to find them, but didn’t smell anything.
His instincts were good though, so she included her head, a silent indication that he should lead the way. She fell into step beside him and they continued on.