This prompt is inspired by the book 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith and by the Prairie Home Companion Lake Wobegon stories, both of which tell small (and sometimes tall) tales in sometimes-unrelated episodes, but all of which happen in and around the same setting.
Write a flash fiction piece about a set of characters in which something small and everyday happens. Hint that something else might be about to happen, before the story ends.
- Give the story a strong sense of place. It doesn’t have to be a home town, but make the location feel specific by giving people a set of preconceptions, ways they talk about themselves and outsiders, distinct local expressions (this can be particularly fun if you write sci fi or fantasy, or another kind of speculative fiction.)
- Try to end the story as if you were writing a daily or weekly serial. What can you do to make readers want to tune in again tomorrow?
- Pretend you’re going to start posting this serial on your blog, where the whole world wide web is competing for your readers’ attention. How entertaining can you make it, to keep your imaginary readers’ attention?