Carrot Ranch #FlashFiction Challenge October 14: Serendipity

 This post was written in response to Charli Mills Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch


October 14, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that reveals or explores a moment of serendipity. How did it come about? What did it lead to? You can express a character’s view of the moment or on serendipity in general. Use the element of surprise or show how it is unexpected or accidentally good.

For those of you who recognize, serendipity has been a prompt before. What can I say, but I like its magic! And it is never the same gift.

Respond by October 20, 2015 to be included in the weekly compilation. Rules are here. All writers are welcome!


Everyone hopes for a lucky break, and many believe it will happen quite by chance. Others think they can nudge luck, just a bit, and force a lucky break.

Many successful people will tell us they were in the right place at the right time. Charlie suggests ‘serendipity is the gift we find accidentally when we make a choice or life chooses a course of action for us.’ But suppose there is no chance event, because one of the parts has planned for the event to take place, would it still be serendipity?

For example, imagine an author waiting for a lucky break, can he or she force a chance happening that will change his/her career forever?  In other words, can the happy accident be provoked or do we have to sit and wait for it to happen?

Marketing for self-published authors can be exasperating. The desperate author in this tongue-in-cheek flash fiction thinks he can fish for his lucky break. Do you agree?


Planning My Lucky Break

‘You’ve bought five hundred copies of your novel and left them lying around London?’

‘Strategically placed.’

‘Where would that be?’

‘On the underground, buses, theatres, museums, coffee shops, wine bars…’

‘That’s your marketing campaign?’

‘It is.’

‘But will anyone read them?’

‘Everyone likes books, especially commuters, art lovers, and people who drink wine and coffee.’

‘The question is, will you ever sell your books?’

‘It just takes one influential person to read it, love it, and spread the word. Just one.’ 

‘And if that one influential person doesn’t find it?’

‘Then I’ll buy another 500 and do it again.’




Read some of the other responses to this week’s prompt here.




About LucciaGray

Writer, blogger, teacher, reader and lover of words wherever they are. Author of The Eyre Hall Trilogy, the breathtaking sequel to Jane Eyre. Luccia lives in sunny Spain, but her heart's in Victorian London.

Posted on October 18, 2015, in Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. I think the author is going to go broke in the meantime. Fun flash. Can you make your own serendipity – I don’t know but it could be fun trying.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Interesting idea for sure, but perhaps there are ways to do it cheaper. I’m looking into it!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I do hope and pray this author’s wish comes true, and he gets a break 🙂

    All author’s wish, huh 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is one expensive serendipity!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s almost a gamble on serendipity happening. But I do think authors can have serendipitous moments; one just can’t bank on it! A determined though perhaps misguided marketing effort. Though, target audience has some merit. And…the media might pick up the “mystery” books showing up all over town which could kick off a frenzy for others to read it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love this, Lucy, and I don’t think it’s so different for commercially published authors – apart from, perhaps, the megabucks stars. We might not give away so many books, but we do give away our time and words in blog posts, interviews, appearances, newspaper articles without any guarantee that they’ll attract people to our books. Could be cheaper in the long run just to give them away!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. That’s some marketing strategy! And like Charli and Anne say, it just might work. News of the free books could go “viral”! Great flash!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Perhaps a few of us should get together, pool our books, chat to potential readers and give them away in ‘straregic’ venues!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sounds like a plan. It would be an interesting experiment. Though sometimes people feel that if it’s free it can’t have any value. If you make them look well read with book marks and “dog ears”, people might think they are a good read left behind by mistake and dive in!

        Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve given away over 50 copies of a poetry booklet I put together… not quite 500.
    Good luck 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Great idea for your flash writing, you added humor and hope 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Serendipity Happens « Carrot Ranch Communications

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