Write a story involving both a rebellious act (or fantasy) and a secret. In Raymond Carver’s story “Fat”, the main character is a waitress who has grown inconveniently fond of an obese customer who treats her with kindness. She feels useful to him, and is enlivened by his presence. He is not easy to look at, but Carver shows us how she hears him breathing, like a heartbeat. Her boyfriend is possessive and unkind, the living opposite of the obese man. Her secret is dangerous, and we watch her trying to hide it from herself and from her boyfriend.
Autopilot: Don’t think about what you are writing, write as much as you can as fast you can without any editing or worry about grammar, spelling, story arc, or logic. Do it for as long as possible: one hour, two hours, three hours: don’t look back don’t look up.
Write about a situation in which the stakes are very high, but don’t let the characters speak of it. Have them act as normally or even blandly as possible, given that something is happening all around them. They’ll want to find some kind of normalcy in the chaos. You as the narrator can write about what is really happening, but the characters are participating in conscious or unconscious avoidance.
Words to incorporate: snide, toothless, teaser, inhospitable, hood
Try to use as many of these words as you can.
Write about two people who seem to not belong together.
Resplendent, Dandy, Peckish, Sniffle, Antique, Outspread, Crest, Hiss
Instead of writing about a moment in time in your flash story, write about an entire world in 12 paragraphs… That is, write a novel in one or two pages.