Friday, 26 May 2017

The rain in Spain ...

... will, I hope, confine itself to the plain next week and avoid where I’ll be staying, so it will be another week where I ask each of you to name your favourite entry; the one you consider to be the week’s winner.

Goodness knows this week has been hard to judge – so many inventive uses of the prompt words plus some forgotten songs planted in my head – and as ever I appreciate the efforts made to comment.
‘Visual’ was an oft-repeated word, scene-setting something everyone excels in – Zaiure’s  a lesson in creating intimacy in tiny detail – but tops for me this week was Jk’s ‘Gostegodd 006’, closely followed by Antonia’s ‘Musing over lunch’.

Words for next week: contempt shoelace trivial

Entries by midnight Thursday 1st June, new words posted on Friday 2nd


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, 19 May 2017

Natural homes for the unnatural

There has been some discussion, publicly and privately, in which discomfort about critique was expressed. For the record, Prediction exists, and has always existed, primarily for the mutual enjoyment of making natural homes for an unnatural selection of words. While appreciation of well-worked pieces is desirable – we all like to know we have been read – it is hoped that  those with sensitivity enough to know their limits will appreciate and learn by observing the skills of others.

And last week’s words were no exception – were, in fact, exceptionally good – providing a very strong shortlist of more than half a dozen. Reasoning that by choosing little pieces I can get away with naming three, I selected John for his ‘Blue Wisdom’, Patricia for ‘Lights Out’ and Ghostrunner for her untitled tale of calligraphic error, and I urge you all to go read Rosie’s most wonderfully-titled ‘Deadly, but Obviously Well Balanced’.

Thank you all for contributing to a thoroughly entertaining week.   

Words for next week: flaccid  lullaby  sack

Entries by midnight Thursday 25th May, words and winners posted on Friday 26th

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, 12 May 2017

Bandying the wicked words

Last week’s indecisive result -– two votes each for separate pieces for Patricia and Perry, and one for me – was an illustration of how hard it is to pick a single winner from the week’s invariably excellent selection. This week was no exception but I found myself attracted to the gritty urban, in particular that of Jk’s untitled Roadie piece  and Rie’s ‘The Proposition’ and declare these joint winners.

Additional thanks go to all of you who commented and also to Patricia who sent me searching for my Bob Seeger CD - now playing.

Words for next week: aphrodisiac chew gauze

Entries by midnight Thursday 18th May, words and winners posted on Friday 19th

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, 5 May 2017

Scheduled words and serial thoughts

A couple of weeks ago I read Jilly Coopers latest bonk-buster, the style of which has answered a question I’ve pondered from time to time. Each episode of the serials I post here are intense, tight-written and aim to have a punch-line every hundred words. My novels are much slower-paced and at times I’ve wondered whether as a result  they are inferior. But the breathless intensity of Jilly has reassured me; a collection of Prediction episodes might not be a very comfortable read.

Words for next week: bundle truth vindaloo

Entries by midnight Thursday 11th May, new words and winners posted on Friday 12th

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, 28 April 2017

Another week for you to run amok!

I’m off on holiday again (it’s turning out to be an exceptionally well-stuffed year for holidays) so will schedule prompt words for 5th of May and ask each of you to nominate your winner for this week.

A very warm welcome to newcomers; Rie and Ghostrunner who both made strong starts. I’m not alone in hoping you will stay around and use this weekly exercise to entertain us. Please do make the effort to comment on others’ posts – we all like to know we’re being read.

This week’s winner has been picked from a strong field because I fell in love with the phrase ‘Pay it or chew cabbage’ – well done AR Martin for ‘the Price is The Price’. (Several others jostled for a place).

Words for next week: bruise inquisition souvenir

Entries by midnight Thursday 4th May, new words posted on Friday 5th

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, 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.