Sunday, 27 February 2011


Here's a challenge to all the creative people in this very imaginative part of the blogosphere, inspired by Saturday Centus at Jenny Matlock's blog and Microfiction Monday at Stony River.

Every week, at around 15:00 GMT on a Sunday, I'll post a single word of inspiration. The challenge?

Expand that word into a 15-word story.

One word for every character in 'Porky's Expanse!' Your story can be on any subject and in any genre or style you like, dead funny or deadly serious.

An example, with the word food. (The number one reason for expanding.)

Deep thinkers broke the siege, bringing supplies.
The warriors stroked beards intrigued.
"Food for fort."

Your word for this week is fort.

You too are deep thinkers and you can take that fort with ease.

Have a go in the comments here or post the story at your blog and leave a link. I encourage everyone to follow the links and give feedback to these creative people.

Take as long as you need. I'll pick out my favourites and summarise the results too.


C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Mine can be found here:

Paul´s Bods said...

There is very little or no comfort in trying to defend a fort without fortitude...:-D

Porky said...

Solid response so far - if you're not already writing, it's a good mental challenge and well worth a try.

@ Paul's Bods - I'd count on that being true. It suggests narrative with its sense of hard-won experience, and arguably is with the change of mind in "or". It would definitely start off a fuller story well. Even without knowing for sure who's defending in C'nor's tale, it does sound like fortitude would be a help..!

Check C'nor's out if you haven't already - you can click here for speed.

I've got mine written up too, but I'll post it later to avoid treading on toes.

Jedediah said...

The fort on the hill stood abandoned, sounds of celebration echoing in the surrounding woods.


I guess my soldiers were definitely lacking in fortitude. But who knows who or what exactly is celebrating in those woods...

GDMNW said...

Fabulous fun.

Ours is here.

Porky said...

Good stuff!

You can get to GDMNW's through this link. I can vouch for code being tricky, and for that story too.

@ Jedediah - That's a great panorama. I love it, and how you kept it open too. The phrase "who or what" is the gateway to a lot of mystery! As readers, we don't even know if the celebration relates to the fort, and it's chilling even to think it might not, that the world is old. I love the bigger spaces the shorter formats leave.

The Angry Lurker said...

Fort Apache the Bronx, a movie I once saw and liked but now who knows.

GDMNW said...

I'm always glad you're lurking Lurker.

GDMNW said...

I've just added another. Fort's a good word, very flexible.

Andy said...

I also gave it a go:

Quite fun to do actually ;-)

Jennie said...

Crouched deep in the fort, amongst the meager supplies, Darial heard chaos pounding the gates.

Porky said...

@ The Angry Lurker - For a moment there I thought you'd misunderstood, but it was my misunderstanding - very clever! There's a real suggestion of development there. 'What changed?' we're led to think.

@ GDMNW - You're pretty flexible too judging by that latest. It's at the same link if anyone's not sure.

@ Andy - Here's a quick way to Andy's, another great blend of narrative and sound.

@ Jennie - That's more towards the deadly serious end. There's a beginning, a middle and an end there, and it's all unsettling. The rhythm and the unknown nature of the chaos stand out for me. Great fiction.

If you're just browsing, Andy's right about how much fun it is, and it's a good workout for creativity and language. Take a look at the ones off-site too if you haven't and say what you think. You could even write a fan-fiction sequel...

GDMNW said...

Wonderful. I've enjoyed every one.

I think it is a marvel that a single word can be transformed in so many different ways.

How do you stop a fort expanding once Porky's set you to thinking about it?

Ooops. There goes another.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...


Re, My story:

So what did you think the Raviien and Hulaan were? I asked there, but you seem to have missed it, and I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

Dave G _ Nplusplus said...

The Villain watched as The Hero finished the poisoned meal.

"Surprised? I have strong fort-"

Porky said...

@ GDMNW - Me too. A great response, in quality and quantity. And you're a natural at this..!

@ C'nor (Outermost_Toe) - Yep, I missed that, but I'll reply at yours now.

@ Dave G _ Nplusplus - The setup here suits the length very well, with words being precious. 'The Villain' and 'The Hero' is all we need, and places the emphasis on the action. Two twists even - that's well-plotted for 15 words!

Rekha said...

Liked your fort tale...

Here is mine...
She gave his thoughts
one last tug
before the invisible
fort walls were up again.

Porky said...

@ Rekha - A poignant tale that one, or so I read it. "One last tug" isolated like that is powerful, and we can even read a pun in the last line. You're a real flash fiction aficionado from what I've seen today.

Von said...

I've given it a go.

Andy said...

You've set something in motion with this! Now you are morally obliged to get us in gear writing short stories to create a "full story". Not too sure on how to organise that, but you'll figure something out I'm sure!

Porky said...

I've left a comment at Von's, and I recommend the visit. It's heavy stuff written well, and there's just a hint of a familiar game world.

@ Andy - I'm giving it some thought. As a way of keeping it flexible and not tieing hands, but getting some chains of narrative going, I'm thinking two routes, 'epyllion' and 'epos' for example. The epyllion route to be the same form we used here, the epos for those who want to go a step further, choosing another person's previous effort and developing it. Over a few weeks we could get all kinds of weaving going on. How does that sound?

It's about time I posted mine.


Dwarf king calls on stronghold.

"Go, fort. Multiply!"

If not that heart of gold...

You can improve on that of course, and there's no official closing, so feel free to have a go if you haven't yet. Don't forget to check the entries at other blogs too.

Andy said...

If you do get the "epos" up and running I'll pitch in for sure!

It would be very interesting to see how far we can develop a story with only our imagination and improvisation.

Dave G _ Nplusplus said...

Heh, yeah.. I had more descriptors to place the setting, but they weren't as important as getting the final cut across... I like this series, good for the brain goo.