Flash Fiction Challenge: Where’s Your Sense???

While I was off doing the A to Z Challenge, Dan Alatorre posted this fun flash fiction challenge that doubles as an awesome writing exercise! I ran this by my writing group and they loved it so I wanted to also post it here (thanks Dan!).

The premise: 

An opening paragraph is more attention-grabbing and involving when you include at least three of the five major senses. Your reader can engage with the setting and the story if you evoke more than their sense of sight.

The Flash Fiction Challenge:

Write an opening paragraph–for your current work-in-progress, a new project, or rewrite an existing intro–that incorporates at least three of the five senses.

Three. Of five senses. Use them! Be sure to include something that hooks your reader and gets them begging for more!

Now, my opening includes dialogue and isn’t actually a paragraph so let’s say the word limit for this challenge is 200 words.

There it is. Write 200 words or less, an opening of a story, include at least three of the five senses. Write your response to the challenge in the comments!

Having recently reinvented a major part of SAAFire 2.0’s magic system, I have rewritten the opening for this challenge. It clocks in right at exactly 193 words (and I decided on the word limit BEFORE editing my opening for this challenge).

Here is my response, I look forward to reading yours, below! And go check out Dan Alatorre’s blog because he posts some pretty neat stuff!


Dawn breathed in the stifling, humid scent of earth and damp air seeping in from the window as she tried to focus on the her test and not the monkey calls in the forest beyond.

“Are you done yet?” Adam asked for the fifth time in almost as many minutes.

“Not yet,” Dawn said.

Adam slumped in the chair dramatically and said, “We leave for the temples in two days. Will you be done by then?”

“Not if you keep bothering her,” said Skye. She sat opposite Dawn in the Home’s makeshift, jungle-colored classroom playing with the dyed beads in her hair. The twins shared an unremarkable face, but, where Dawn viewed the world through a green, perceptive gaze, Sky made do with unseeing glass. Only the faint disfigurement of the skin around her eyes belied the acid attack that had stolen her sight as a child.

“You should have gotten a mori for this,” said Adam.

“Anyone who needs spellcraft to pass a test doesn’t deserve to pass,” said Skye.

Dawn rubbed her eyes. Sweat dripped down her back in the afternoon heat and her exam blurred before her tired eyes.



Author: V. Kane

I write YA fantasy, blog about it, and then take my dog out for therapy. My current manuscript is ANATHEMA, a story of two sisters caught up in a war between the gods. Find me on Twitter at @ValkyrieWriting or Instagram at books_and_dogs

4 thoughts

  1. I didn’t know I was leaving til I was halfway to the state line. By the time I reached the Exxon station (mouth dust-dry, fingers crooked and cramped from their death grip on the wheel) it was like the decision had happened without me, seeping out from inside. I was going to Colorado, I was going alone, and somehow the image of Jenny’s face when she realized I was gone didn’t hurt for even a second. That last bit caught me off guard- I’d always considered myself a decent person, and decent people do not leave their jobs and families behind on a whim. They don’t unceremoniously walk out of their partner’s lives without warning over some nonsense in a magazine. So perhaps in truth I was NOT a decent person after all but a cruel, selfish one. Concerning. Before the thought could gain traction (because, let’s face it, decent person or not I DID plan to keep going) I turned up the radio- Bob Seger, a good omen- and lit a Marlboro, sharp smoke stinging my unaccustomed lungs for the first time in three years. With the windows down, I could hardly hear any doubt over the roaring wind.

    Liked by 1 person

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