Last Autumn, I ran a flash-fiction workshop in which I asked attendees to write a piece of flash using as their first line the last line of an existing short story. As an exercise, it worked well – everyone jumped in and came up with original and inspiring tales – so I thought I’d offer it as a challenge here at my blog.
Every Monday, I’m going to post the last line of an existing story for you to use as a prompt. The challenge will then be for you to write, in 200 words or fewer, a new story that starts with the last line I’ve provided.
The aim is to give you a prompt from which to write and a place to share what you’ve written. There will be no judging as such, but, for the competitive among you, each week I’ll be picking my favourite last line from the stories submitted and using it as a future last line prompt. Stories may be in any genre (except erotica and graphic horror) and do not need to reflect the source story. You may tweak the prompt however you choose. Comments on other people’s stories are more than welcome.
Here are the basics:
- Every Monday, I will post a new last line.
- Any time over the next seven days, you may write a ≤200 word story that starts with the given last line and submit it as a comment to the challenge post.
- You may tweak the last line prompt in any way you like.
- Each week, I’ll pick my favourite last line. Authors of the chosen last line will receive the Last Line First badge (pictured above) and see their story’s last line used as a prompt in the future.*
- Each challenge closes as the next one opens.
So, with no further ado, here’s this week’s last line:
He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance.
From Frankenstein; or, the modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.
On your marks. Get set. Go!
(*To keep things simple: by submitting your story here, you’re agreeing to let me use its last line as a future prompt. Thanks!)