Flash Fiction: Mix-and-Match Writing Prompts


Inspiration in an Instant

Don’t waste time waiting for story ideas to come to you. Flip through this guide, and you can create characters and plots in seconds.

See It in Action

Come to Flash Fiction Fridays at the Vintage Cottage, and you’ll find yourself writing short stories that will amaze your friends and make fans of your foes. Best of all, you’ll write them in a flash!

What Other Writers Say about “Flash Fiction”

  • Robert Carreon rated it 5 out of 5 stars: “It was amazing! Imagination for the mind. Great little book to jump start your imagination. Downloaded to Kindle Fire so it’s always with me along with Elements of Style.”
  • Emily Dickerson rated it rated it 5 out of 5 stars: “So great; hysterical to see what it gives you!!”
  • Latina Gringa rated it 5 out of 5 stars: “A ‘must-have’ for writers! Flash Fiction is a ‘must-have’ for writers. Corrine serves the ideas on a silver platter through these inexhaustible lists. I have written dozens of stories due to this gem that sits on my night table. ‘Writer’s block’ no longer has to be part of your vocabulary. You want to write? Here are the prompts, now GO!”
  • Lourdes Diaz rated it 5 out of 5 stars: “This is a very useful manual. With very simple instructions and picking a word from each of the lists, you will build sentences that serve as inspiration for a book, a short story, or even a scene that’s calling for some spark. We have lots of fun using it in our weekly writers group. It’s a flash of imagination.”

How It Works

Flip through the book. Simply choose a single word or phrase from each of the five sections, in order, and then turn those selections into a sentence.

Section 1. descriptions (adjectives)
Section 2. characters (nouns)
Section 3. actions (verbs)
Section 4. plot twists (objects)
Section 5. settings (more nouns)

It’s easy, because the sections are arranged like parts of speech. Add a few articles and prepositions, and you have a premise for a story.

Here’s a sample prompt to show you how it works.

Section 1. descriptions (adjectives): vengeful
Section 2. characters (nouns): historian
Section 3. actions (verbs): steals
Section 4. plot twists (objects): movie script
Section 5. settings (more nouns): coffee shop

The finished prompt: A vengeful historian steals a movie script in a coffee shop.

Look for combinations that amuse and intrigue you. Feel free to make changes, substitutions, and additions. You might find a garbage man in the list — but you’ll soon discover that your garbage man is actually a garbage woman, or a trash-picking hobo, or an environmentally sensitive vampire who sleeps in a landfill. Let your characters drive the story.

You can also play fast and loose with the grammar. You’re welcome to turn nouns into verbs, or objects into adjectives. Maybe your character isn’t a ghost. Maybe he’s just ghostly.

You can change verb conjugations, too. If your hero isn’t inflicting wounds, for example, maybe he’s the one being wounded.

Feel free to make the most of the suggestions in this booklet. Remember that they’re starting points, not final destinations — and let them take you into a story that practically writes itself.



When you order books directly from the author, Corrine Kenner, here at the Vintage Cottage, they’ll come to you signed. If you’d like your inscription personalized with your name, let us know!