What it is…
To be completely honest, I just learned what flash fiction is a few months ago. I kept seeing the hashtag on Twitter and -as most of my journeys start- was curious. To summarize, it is a short story based on certain criteria. The rules for Flash Fiction are considerably different depending on who is hosting the challenge. Word count limits, prompts, frequency, well, you get the point.
So far I have be challenged with photos, dialogue prompts, scenario prompts, have had 200 word limits and no word limits and everything in between. Right now I’m participating in Dice Games which is a weekly prompt for September. I’ve also done the first challenge for Writer’s Campaign which was the shortest at 200 words, this month.
Why I write it…
Other than the fact that it is just plain fun to meet these writing challenges the reason I continue writing them is to stretch my writing muscles. Flash Fiction is a wonderful tool for writing.
This month I was challenged with writing Sci-fi, which is a genre very unfamiliar to me. I really had a nail-biting time with it to the point that it almost became un-fun. It gave me the ability to look at the piece, realize why I was having a hard time with it and change my approach so that it wasn’t so frustrating. Writing should be fun and that challenge helped me to discover that, even out of my comfort zone.
I also made personal challenges such as writing completely from a male perspective, something I do not really ever do. I’ve also been allowed to play around with imagery, descriptions, and voices without having to commit to a large project. I find myself snatching pieces of my flash fiction for use in my novels. Or learning to turn a phrase successfully -or more likely Un-successfully- without fear of ruining a three thousand word chapter.
It’s given me an opportunity to put into practice some of the writing techniques I’ve been learning and I hope that even these shorter pieces show progression of my craft. I can tell that while I’m writing, the delete key comes into play quite often as I realize that I am making novice mistakes. It’s also given me the challenge to be concise. Wordiness can bog a reader down. I’ve come to see where my writing needs to be cut, be able to do those cuts, when I have limited words available.
I also hope that I entertain those that stumble across my blog with these easily, and quickly, digestable stories.
This is the last week for round three of ROW80. I have been writing more than I had before I joined and plan to participate in the next round. I have learned so much over the course of these weeks that I couldn’t have duplicated had I been on my own. Finding Flash Fiction challenges was only one small piece. The journey to becoming a successful writer is long and there is no real set goal for completion. Every day is another day to practice, to learn, to write. To make connections with others that are on the same path even though they’re on seperate journeys.
Thanks to all the ROW80 fellows that have visited my blog through this round. I hope to see you next time.