Posted: April 27, 2012 in fiction, INDIE500, writing
Tags: , , , , , ,



Stuck in the doldrums of procrastination? Lacking in motivation?


We all find ourselves spinning our wheels at times, wasting time with no productivity, perhaps searching for a new muse, or simply disinterested in our work or the world around us. A great way for writers and artists in general to break through these barriers is to contribute in prompt style forums.


Here comes the pitch.


Being so impressed with the #FridayFictioneers and the level of interaction, the volume and quality of talent, and the simple pleasure and fun of it all, I’ve begun diddling around with an idea. No need to keep secrets, this is something I can discuss proudly, even in church.


I’m calling this interactive project the INDIE 500.


Here is what I’m envisioning. On Friday I will post a prompt. (For cripes’ sake, another guy trying to get us all to do a prompt…enough already!) The prompt will contain a premise, provide a setting, give some character information, if I can add some photos even better. These items will be resources. (Starting to sound like work to me…I’m outta here) This is simply a starting block. In 500 words or less develop a story. Use the characters, or make up your own. As typical, post your story to your page. For the purposes of this project please do so by Monday. Provide a response on my page with a link as well. Use the hash tag #Indie500.


Here’s how this is new…  (This had better be good)


On your response/comments on my page will be a ‘Rating’ function. We want readers to vote/rate the story submissions for that week. Voting would end Wednesday. The story with the most/highest votes stays.




Yes. The following week will begin where THAT story left off. What this means is the prompt for the next week will be the winning story from the previous week. Perhaps there will be a tweak added to the prompt without violating the integrity of the winner (something added as a recommendation for the coming week but not introduced into the storyline). This prompt will be made available on my page, properly dressed up, on Friday and we continue the saga.


The idea is to build one comprehensive story from the weekly pieces, like lustrous pearls on a length of silk, with a final culminating finish when it seems necessary.


Then what?


To quote David Mathews, we could “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” Or, we could…




When it’s all done, I will compile it, place it into a nice format, give credit where credit is due, place an authors page, and then use the SmashWords system for publishing it into e-book format.






What SmashWords does is convert the text into each and every portable electronic e-book reading device format. SmashWords then will ‘distribute’ the e-book to the major on-line sellers. My intention is not to sell for money, rather, to list the price as FREE. Then each of you can provide a link to your followers, fans and friends so they can download free copies as well. The ‘Authors’ page will contain contact information including links to personal web-pages if so desired.




Here is the first Prompt…let’s see how this grand experiment goes!


Jacob MacManus, a sophomore attending Dartmouth College and one hell of a fabulous golfer, was traveling south on route 91 in his father’s hand-me-down yellow Saab 900 SE Turbo convertible. The sky was blue, the mountains were a blurred green and Jacob was sifting among words to help him explain to his father his new found desire. His fingers rapidly tapped at the leather wrapped helm as David Grohl lamented through 8 acoustically engineered speakers about ‘One of these days’.  Just as the machine crested another rise Jacob discovered a sight he would not soon forget. Two parallel and very long stretches of blackened rubber still smoldered in the morning air. Just beyond them lay a dark heaped something in the road.

Let the games begin!


  1. clownonfire says:

    What a great initiative. I promise to start playing as of next week. I know, I’m lame.
    Le Clown

  2. Madison Woods says:

    That’s a very cool prompt idea! I like the voting and disqualification rounds, and it sounds like it will be a ton of fun.

    • JKBradley says:

      I hope so. My concern it the length. Will folks be willing to contribute that much? Will others be willing to read that much? With your 100 word prompting (which I love) I find myself distilling the story which probably makes for a more concentrated read, think demi-glace. 500 words might allow a different process. Either way, writing improves as you write. I hope others join in.

      • Madison Woods says:

        Ah yes, well you brought up the catch for me. I just don’t have time for much other than what I’m doing already. But I do notice a lot of others do a lot of prompts so they might be ripe for something like this. It does sound like a great idea and lots of fun with a challenge of staying in the game and a chance to try again each week. Great premise!

  3. Loving the premise. I’m interested in seeing how it goes. I’ll try to find time this weekend to participate : )

  4. Michael Fishman says:

    Cool concept. It reminds me a lot of an exquisite corpse/cadaver and I like that sort of collaborative writing thing. Having participated in a few of them online in the past, my concern is that different writers have different styles and they each bring their style to the collaboration so the piece winds up ambling between mystery, horror, prose, humor, etc. and never really gelling into anything coherent. I’m thinking though that the voting might eliminate that.

  5. dani mk says:

    look forward to following. who knows. might even send a response to a prompt

  6. Fay Moore says:

    Yahoo! Here’s the link to my submission for #Indie500 . Please read my submission, then please vote for me. Thanks.

    • JKBradley says:

      Fay, I just read through your submission, i like it alot. You have alot a great action and monologue. Really nice job.

      I wanted to let you know we are on the very first section. Meaning, and I suppose my posting wasn’t as clear as it should have been so I will adjust it momentarily, the prompt was the car photo and just the first section where Jacob is driving and discovers the heaped something in the road. The subsequent section was merely my own submission for the first part, getting the thing rolling.

      Let me know if you want me to adjust/edit/delete your reply posting on my page or leave it as is. I suppose leaving it is just fine and if you elected to change up your posting to start earlier in the scene you could just ‘edit’ from your blog page. And honestly, there isn’t really a reason to change anything as we are deciding where and how this story will begin with this weeks submissions and voting.

      Sorry for the confusion. Completely my fault.

      Most importantly, welcome aboard!

    • Amanda Zahn says:

      If only a comment is necessary to vote, consider this comment mine. I would love to read more about what happens, what brought Jake to the point in the story we find him, and the chance to get to know the other players in the game Jake seems to have found himself. Good luck, Fay!

  7. riatarded says:

    I like this! Thanks Fay for directing me to this! Awesome stuff 😀

  8. Someone was concerned about the length- me too- but I love the concept and will follow, to hopefully participate. It’s a challenge for many to read 500 words in one post, as we know, though I suppose not in a circle such as this. ?

    • JKBradley says:

      Thank you for your comment.

      I too had concern regarding the length. I feel the 100 word prompts such as the one MadisonWoods hosts are great, but I find a challenge condensing my writing. Although I’ve found great value in doing so, searching for special words, killing extra words. One thing I wish folks would understand is you don’t have to write 500 words or feel obligated to do so. Write what you feel, just keep it less than 500 so readers know what to expect. This is a challenge for both readers and writers. Writers must capture your attention with the first sentence, or the reader will move on since the post will likely be around 500 words.

      I truly hope others will begin to see the value and just go for it.

      500 words isn’t really that hard to do. I usually tell folks to start out telling their story like a child (this happened…and then we did this….and then we did this). Write it out like that. See how many words you’ve gotten down. Go back and expand or edit as needed to get to your goal, in this case 500 words. Your typical novel has about 400 words on one side of a page.

      Thanks again.

  9. […] The Bradley Chronicles – If you’re a flash fiction writer this site is a must visit. Currently hosting the Indie 500 which brings writers together from all over the web in an effort to form a multi-authored story through weekly contributions and voting. This is one big collaboration of writers and writing.  I think it’s really cool! […]

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