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Flash Fiction Month 2015

Tue Jun 23, 2015, 12:48 PM
CRLiterature Journal Header by inknalcohol


FFM Are you ready?


July marks the start of Flash Fiction Month- a creative challenge to complete 31 pieces of flash fiction, 1 for every day in July. It is a great way to stretch your writing fingers and maybe write pieces you would never have written before. It is about getting in regular writing and creating some potentially awesome first drafts for pieces that are worth developing.

Flash fiction is all about brevity in word count whilst still telling a fully rounded story. Although there isn’t a restriction of word count, it’s best to look between 25 and 1000 words. For FFM, keep in mind restriction and challenge yourself with amounts varying at different word counts.

If you have decided already to participate in this challenge, there is work to be done before July begins! Like any good writer, sometimes a bit of planning can go a long way!

 



Where to get help and prompts

The best help you can get is by helping yourself! However here are some tips for preparation:

:bulletred: Plan ahead on your approach to FFM. Are you planning on going out random, or is there a theme/structure to your writing choices? What about allocating yourself time to write in your day? If you work full time like me, could you use a lunch break or a commute to write? Some people like to use spreadsheets and calendars to prepare themselves- it’s entirely up to you but a good plan could save you on the days you are struggling to write something.

:bulletred: Start collecting ideas early; whether you get a Pinterest board of prompts or start a collection of interesting art on here you feel has story potential. Get a notebook that’s dedicated to FFM and start making notes in it- whether this is just single words or fuller ideas. Take notebook everywhere, even on a first date! Your notebook could be the very place you start actually writing your stories in.

:bulletred:  Dig into the past of dA- are there contests or workshops you never entered that actually have really good prompts to kick start you? Maybe there are some current ones you could enter at the same time as this challenge? It doesn’t matter how many years old the prompt it, it can still be valuable to use! Why not look at past years’ Flash-Fic-Month directory or prompts?

:bulletred: Read useful articles like these goldmines:

www.theguardian.com/books/2012…

flashfictiononline.com/main/20…

www.bridportprize.org.uk/blog/…

www.writing-world.com/fiction/…

www.fictionfactor.com/guests/f…

I am sure you can find others- if so let me know and I will add it to this list!

:bulletred: Read good dA articles like these:

What is Flash Fiction?It was recently asked of me to describe to an audience of writers what flash fiction was. When I read my first piece of flash, I couldn't begin to answer that question, and now after writing almost nothing but flash for the past two years it's still hard for me to define. I find that while I've developed a set of skills to create flash, I can only really define it by the process by which I create it. I start with a complete and fully formed short story, and then ruthlessly carve away most of it. I consider the editing rule I was given when I started down this path; 'Cut all of what you don't need and half of what you do.' What remains is the essence of that whole story, with all it's structure and key elements intact, but devoid of anything that doesn't absolutely have to be there. That which remains, is flash. Looking for something more substantial in the way of a definition, I asked the person who'd given me that editing advice, Kathy Kachelries aka Tips For Writing Flash Fictionby Stephen R. Smith with excerpts by Kathy Kachelries
In order to improve as a writer, you need feedback. It's difficult to write something the size of a novel, and equally difficult to carve out the time required to read one and provide any sort of meaningful critique on it. This severely handicaps the feedback loop so important for the aspiring writer.
Flash Fiction on the other hand allows you to exercise all of your story writing and editing skills while creating works that can be read in a few minutes. This makes it ideal for examining ideas, developing writing skills and getting the feedback needed to help elevate you in your craft. Note that while Flash Fiction stories can be read in a few minutes, you shouldn't expect to write them that quickly.
Kathy Kachelries, founder of 365tomorrows, had this to say about Flash Fiction:
"The most concise and widely-cited example of flash fiction is the story Ernest Hemingway penned, allegedly to settle a bar bet: “For sale: baby shoes.

 

Again, if I have missed some good ones, let me know and I will add!

 

:bulletred: Just add SRSmith to your watchlist and look in awe of his gallery. He has been rocking flash fiction since the dawn of time!


:bulletred: There is also a dedicated group Flash-Fic-Month , which we hope will be raring to go soon, so do follow it for more details!

 

August is for critique, September to rewrite

We are habitual writers who often want to redraft before we have completed the story. In flash fiction month, the challenge is to knock your stories out one day per story. There is nothing stopping you playing with your piece throughout the day (though if you started writing at 11pm you might be struggling!), but after that LEAVE IT ALONE. There is plenty of time to go back, we’re not in a rush. Make the most of the following months:

August: Summer holidays! Firstly, I wouldn’t recommend trying to get critique on all 31 pieces, select your strongest and work on those first. Why not spend some time acquiring and giving critique on FFM pieces? Set up a circle of writers to all co-critique 2-3 stories each and share the love. You can learn a lot from critiquing others’ work that you can apply to your own. Make sure you keep your eye out for groups that have critique events, such as CRLiterature 's critique chat nights (usually Sundays) or the literature forums monthly critique threads. There is plenty of opportunity!

September: Once you feel you have enough critique and your own thoughts on your pieces, make the most of September to really tidy those flash pieces up. Maybe you can reduce that word count even further, but still convey the same story? Still not happy after revising? Get on the critique circle again! Lather, rinse, repeat (and then prepare for NaNoWriMo in November :p)

Remember, there is no rush. I picked up an FFM piece I wrote last year in February to rewrite, and I am glad I did because I managed to breathe a whole new life into it. We don’t need to rush for perfection and there is plenty of time to scrub your work up.

 

Are you In?


So the main question is, are you in for this challenge? We will try keep a list of participants on this journal- maybe you can watch a few of them or use them to start that writing circle up? Don’t forget there are several lit chats including #crliterature and #writeroom.

Have you done FFM before and have any good advice or comments? Is this the first time you have heard of this challenge? Not sure whether to sign up and need some convincing? Post your thoughts below!




Skin by Dan Leveille
CRLiterature Journal Header by inknalcohol


Hello all :wave:



It's been a while since we have run a critique chat night on CRLiterature  so we thought- why not have an impromptu critique chat later today?! It would be awesome to see some of you there, especially people willing to share their thoughts and critique on others' work and maybe share some of your own to be reviewed!

Who? 


Anyone who is in the mood for a live critique (both giving and receiving, but especially giving!) and just fancies a bit of a real literature chat! 

What?


We usually work at a "one deviation at a time" system, where someone linked their piece and the critique is given by others live. Please note, no log is recorded so we suggest if you are receiving critique you get ready to copy and past notes! Please note, critique of this nature is fast, often straight and not full of fluff.

Where?


#CRLiterature Chat room

When?


8.30pm GMT/ 12.30pm PST (approximately 3 and a bit hours away!) (What time?)

How?


Just join the Chat room and we shall welcome you in! Bring a friend :) (Smile)


Spread the word! We hope to see you there- the more the merrier!


Tell us if you'll be there in the comments :D


Skin by Dan Leveille
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Add a Comment:
 
:iconwildoats:
wildoats Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2014
Long live Suture!
Reply
:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Student General Artist
Hey, what's this group about? I can't seem to find an FAQ. It looks cool, though.
Reply
:iconapocathary:
apocathary Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
It used to be a kind of all-things-lit, with a focus on tutorials and helping people to improve their craft. Got resurrected a while ago, but the resurrection didn't last very long. Been dead for a while now, unfortunately. :'(
Reply
:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012  Student General Artist
I see. That's too bad.
Reply
:iconapocathary:
apocathary Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Aye, everyone clamoured to commit themselves to the idea of it, but when it came to producing words: nadda.
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:iconsuture:
suture Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2011
This group is in hibernation for the time being.
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:iconlucy-merriman:
Lucy-Merriman Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2011  Student General Artist
Oh, okay :)
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:iconsperpy:
Sperpy Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2011  Hobbyist
wah
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:icontmpst24myst:
tmpst24myst Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2011  Student Writer
<3
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:iconfyoot:
fyoot Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011   Writer
sup? owt?
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