Friday, 21 April 2017

‘Plots, true or false, are necessary things’ [John Dryden]

At least in novels, as I am discovering, to my hair-tearing cost. When writing to Prediction prompts forward planning is best avoided and I fear has made me complacent because, 90k words into my current wip, fourth in the series, I’ve come to realise is very necessary indeed.

But in between the wrestling, I’ve enjoyed some stunning reading here, in the company of fellow writers whose words – both post and comment – provide evidence we are engaged on something valuable. There were, as ever, half a dozen which made it to my shortlist, and Perry, for his Exodust, made it to the top, for the lovely language and weightiness behind what was being said..

Words for next week: necessary pucker willow

Entries by midnight Thursday 28th April, words and winners posted on Friday 29th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 14 April 2017

‘The tumult and the shouting dies’

A hundred and ninety-four episodes, and never a week missed (unless Prediction itself was absent) is a four years acquaintance with the Captain, and while I understand, as Kipling would have it, that ‘Captains and Kings depart’ (and we have been promised a Mad Italian to take his place), it is nevertheless sad to see him wickedly settle down.
But so typically and so well did he bow out that Antonia is undoubtedly this week’s winner.
Which is a relief, for it would, once again have been hard to choose. I console myself that we are all rewarded by both what we are offered to read and by the comments of our fellow writers.

Words for next week: rubric, sparse, spendthrift

Entries by midnight Thursday 20th April, words and winners posted on Friday 21st

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Delighting in the detail ...

... Of which there has been an especial richness this week.

John’s ‘He flexed his shoulders and felt the stitches pull’ first alerted me to how effectively a small detail adds colour and uniqueness to a piece of writing, then I found those put together by Rich to give us Alison’s grandfather’s room, Patricia’s Arthur, mildly murmuring, Antonia’s ‘borders on decadence’ and Perry’s ‘eyes gummed with the sherbet of sleep-deprivation’.

 Jeffrey’s  ‘Night Messenger 3’ wins the ‘leaps and bounds ‘trophy, for that’s what his writing has lately made and Patricia rises to the top with ‘Other side of the tracks’.

Words for next week: falcon, fremescent, lurch

Entries by midnight Thursday 13th April, words and winners posted on Friday 14th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media you prefer.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Dreams and predictions ought to serve ...

... according to Francis Bacon (1561-1626). And how well-served and with what invention were the prompt words used this week, with Antonia’s ‘freckle on the face of God’. John’s ‘freckled moth’, Patricia’s ‘freckled violet’ and Perry’s victim’s shitty and ‘surreal’. I  also appreciated Jeffrey having Hades as ‘Night Stalker’. And please do go back and check out Bill and Rosie’s last minute entries - invariably entertaining.

A personal choice as this week’s winner though - Rich’s ‘Otherglow’ was a perfect demonstration of how, for me, science fiction can be made irresistible and I am more pleased than I can say that it holds the promise of a long-running serial.

Words for next week: border reckless sherbet

Entries by midnight Thursday 6th April, words and winners posted on Friday 7th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Misadventures in the English language ...

... is the title of Caroline Taggart’s book, bought for me as a Christmas present, by my younger son, and not a week has gone by since without me using it to check on some grammatical quirk or item I need an explanation for. Having read a lot as a child, my grammatical grounding is instinctive rather than informed; all attempts to properly teach me merely confused and left me disinclined to write. This, being able to be consulted on a ‘need to know’ basis, is perfect.
And it was a week of near perfect enjoyment of reading Prediction posts, with the usual difficulty of picking a favourite, since so many offered an especial treat. So ... I juggled, somewhat inexpertly, with three, and the one I was left with was John’s inflammable tale, as Perry’s ‘Can’t get the staff’ and Rosie’s ‘Who Spies on the Spies?’ tumbled to the floor.

Words for next week: brink freckle stalk

Entries by midnight Thursday 30th March, words and winners posted on Friday 31st

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 17 March 2017

If music be the food ... or someone else ...

One intriguing suggestion to come out of Tom Harper’s workshop on injecting horror at last weekend's Crime and Publishment was to use film music as background inspiration. What I do know is that I would hesitate before agreeing to share a meal with any of this week’s participants; Bill’s ‘Serving his shipmates’ being the most chillingly served.

What an excellent job of selecting personal winners you did last week – and how effectively did the final result – a tie between Patricia and AR – illustrate my weekly dilemma. Not that I’m complaining, because such variety of response to just three words is the especial delight of prompt writing.
Words for next week: belly kudos vacant

Entries by midnight Thursday 23rd March, words and winners posted on Friday 24th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Putting the horror in ...

This the title of one of the workshops  I shall be attending this weekend, although I’m sure I learn just as much from several participants here.
I’m hoping each of you will take time to nominate your favourite from last week and post it here before you begin to ponder the words for next week, which are

emulate   spaghetti   weak

Entries by midnight Thursday 16th March, new words ONLY posted on Friday 17th


Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 3 March 2017

“We need to make a permanent repair”

Thus the faintly threatening and portentous headline to a letter received this morning. No repair needed to the Prediction site, all contributors (and thank you to Antonia for her sterling recruitment) functioning most excellently. So much so that it has once more been difficult to select a winner, but the clean simplicity and knock-out punch of Patricia’s ‘Those in Peril’ impressed on every reading.

Of course, it is not only the writing that adds strength to this site – reading others’ varied approaches to the same set of prompt words is ever-fascinating, but to know we’ve been read and (hopefully) enjoyed is also important, so please do make and effort to comment. 

Words for next week: fine, jargon, pecuniary         

Entries by midnight Thursday 9th March, new words ONLY posted on Friday 10th

I shall be up in Gretna on a crime writing weekend so would you please choose your favourite and let us know on next Friday’s post

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 24 February 2017

March of the human mind

Heavens, the comments ratcheted up fast and early this week! 50+ by Monday; 70 on Tuesday evening and finishing, this Friday morning at 85 with my comment on Rosie’s literally last-minute piece.

What a buzz of a week too, not least for comments. I was especially grateful to AR Martin for his definition of ‘lived in’  - a quality I aspire to - but also to Patricia for using ‘gargoyle’, Wondra for her imaginative FB attack and Antonia's new-vamped crew for 'Infinity'..

Not for the first time, however, first place goes to a newcomer: Perry McDaid’s ‘Siege Under’ was a beautifully-crafted, epic-sized subtly horrific entry, and I’m sure I’m not the only one hoping he will stay around.
Words for next week: dwarf eve ostentatious

Entries by midnight Thursday 2nd March, new words posted on Friday 3rd

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Senses working overtime

Antonia said it (and put XTC’s song into my head) : ‘understated entries saying so much more than is actually there, images that won't go away’ and yes, there were more than a few exceptionally visual, cinematic pieces, which magically supplied smell and soundtrack too.
Which is all very enjoyable until I realise I have to pick a winner from among them. A pleasurable  opportunity to read and re-read but excruciating to have to choose. In the end Patricia nosed ahead, with ‘The dealer’, but AR Martin, Zaiure and Bill were very very close behind, and in one way we were all winners, rewarded with such writings.

Words for next week:  rampart sewer unreason

Entries by midnight Thursday 23rd February, new words posted on Friday 24th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Elusive compulsion of an opening ...

The impact, the hooking, magnetic compulsion of a really excellent opening sentence is a concept we all know about. Choosing books, reading stories elsewhere this past week I have been both embarrassed and shocked  at the speed with which I discard the less enticing, being both unhooked and, dare I say, bored.

I thought I’d apply the same criteria to this week’s Prediction offerings, but (not unexpectedly) the great majority of this week’s bumper bundles were excellent, and I unable to pick a clear winner on that score.  

However, I doubt there’ll be much disagreement that AR Martin’s ‘rhapsody’ can be declared to have attained, even if by a whisker, the prime position, with too many others jostling for second place to call. I thank you all for a week of high quality and thoroughly entertaining reading, and for the ever-important acknowledgements to fellow writers that they have been so enjoyed.

Words for next week:  flux  jute  spoil

Entries by midnight Thursday 16th February, new words posted on Friday 17th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Cynicism, fatalism and moral ambiguity ...

... is the OED definition of noir, which claims it to be ‘a genre of crime fiction or film characterised by’ such. I checked this in order to assure members of one of my crime novel Facebook groups that their contributions would be both within the rules and welcome. I’ve queried it before, uncertain whether or not John Pettinger fitted the definition, and was then pleased by the ‘So long as it entertains’ verdict.

The ‘verdict’ as to this week’s winner was harder to come by, but undoubtedly Patricia wins a medal for persistence in posting. I could invent any number of categories but this week, for the best of last-minute kicks, top place is shared by Bill and Wondra. Thank you all for your wonderful contributions , and even more for the feedback – vital for the healthy continuance of this site.

Words for next week:  lone, sanguine, splay

Entries by midnight Thursday 9th February, new words posted on Friday 10th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Cornish Clouds and walking words

Simple derivation of title this week - I’ll be spending the weekend in a penthouse in Cornwall in the company of 7 or 8 other writers from one of my on-line groups members of which refer to themselves as Cloudies.

As ever, I was struggling to chooses a winner from the oh-so-closely-matched in merit but have to say, firstly for the evocation of its title and secondly for the purple tigers , I unhesitatingly vote Rosie’s ‘The Adventures of Rosebud, Pirate Princess #61, The Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome, this week’s undoubted winner.

Words for next week:  appease crochet lodge
Entries by midnight Thursday 2nd February, new words posted on Friday 3rd

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 20 January 2017

‘The decent obscurity of a learned language’

Often the hardest thing about this weekly posting is the title which is when I resort to a dictionary of quotations. Today’s is from Edward Gibbons (1737-1794) and begins ‘My English text is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in (the decent obscurity ...)’.  Obscurity is what Jeffrey appeared to several of us to deliver last week, albeit it thought-provoking, and was something I was guilty of as well, with my mis-remembering one of the prompt words and forgetting to change the dates.

Less ambiguous is my choice for this week’s winner who, outstandingly, is Zaiure for her breathtaking fifth instalment of ‘Regrets’. Patricia is a close runner-up, for the double whammy of ‘He Who Hesitates ...’ and ‘Fortune Favours’. As ever, thanks are due to you all for participating and for commenting.

Words for next week:  adamant marinade tiger

Entries by midnight Thursday 26th January, new words posted on Friday 27th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Cats and Captains, Corvids and Clowns

How did the group get its name?  As Antonia explained, it was started by Lily Childs as Friday Prediction, back in 2010. You only need have a look at Lily’s ‘Feardom’ blog to see the scale and breadth of words  she regularly used (memo to self: must try harder!)  Although ‘Friday’ was dropped, I am loth to lose ‘Prediction’ it in case it prevents long-lost members finding us again.

It’s one of those never-lost members who pips the rest of you at the post this week – Antonia for yet another solid episode of The Captain’s adventures in Infinity  181 – but the rest of you are snapping at her heels, giving us all an excellent week’s entertainment.

Words for next week:  devastate essence joint

Entries by midnight Thursday 19th January, new words posted on Friday 20th

Usual rules: 100 words maximum (excluding title) of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above in the genres of horror, fantasy, science fiction or noir. Serialised fiction is, as always, welcome. All variants and use of the words and stems are fine. Feel free to post links to your stories on Twitter or Facebook or whichever social media.