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Sophia
02-13-2012, 11:48 PM
Welcome to the February Flash Fortnight!


The February Flash Fortnight (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=213125) will run from Wednesday 15th February (Day 1) to Tuesday 28th February (Day 14). Each morning during the challenge, I'll update this post with a new prompt for the day, so please check back if you find them useful! All of the challenge prompts will remain permanently available to you, so if you'd like to use any of them outside of the Fortnight, please feel free to do so.





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Prompts



Day 14 : Dissection.
Day 13 : The wrong soul.
Day 12 : Down in the ravine.
Day 11 : Secret gifts.
Day 10 : Mirror images.
Day 9 : An unusual neighbour.
Day 8 : Hospitality.
Day 7 : Prisoner exchange.
Day 6 : Among the stars.
Day 5 : A lost battlefield.
Day 4 : The most dangerous street in town.
Day 3 : The local wildlife.
Day 2 : The understudy.
Day 1 : Voices on the wire.








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Tips on using the prompts



Think of the prompt as a starting point. When you look at it, certain words, phrases or ideas might immediately come to your mind. Try writing these down. For each of these things, consider what words, phrases or ideas that they, in turn, inspire.

Keep going in this way. You could free associate on the thoughts you're getting, or ask yourself questions on each thing: What is it about this that I'm drawn to? What would happen if I followed this train of thought to its logical conclusion?

Try not to censor yourself, or second-guess your imagination. In the end, the idea you end up with might be completely unrelated to the prompt - and that's completely fine!

Good luck!

HarryHoskins
02-14-2012, 04:14 AM
Hoskins here, reporting for duty and aiming for the full 14. :)

Christopher Marcus
02-14-2012, 02:23 PM
I'm in!

Izz
02-15-2012, 01:09 AM
*subscribed*

Sophia
02-15-2012, 01:54 AM
Yeah, I expect 14 stories from all of you, you slackers! :tongue :)

Christopher Marcus
02-15-2012, 11:54 AM
Yeah, I expect 14 stories from all of you, you slackers! :tongue :)

Ouch ...

Sophia
02-15-2012, 03:05 PM
Aaaaand...


http://i922.photobucket.com/albums/ad65/elarasophia/index.jpg



Day 1 prompt:

Voices on the wire.

HarryHoskins
02-16-2012, 04:51 AM
Nice prompt. :)

Have half a flash written and plenty of ideas for other pieces on the same theme. It's really freeing just to write fast and go for it.

Looking forward to day two. :)

Sophia
02-16-2012, 08:02 AM
Good work, Harry! :)

Day 2 prompt:

The understudy.

HarryHoskins
02-17-2012, 06:45 AM
Well, this one was tough. :)

I had all the usual thoughts about it -- horror vibes popping straight up with a person of nefarious intent in the wings plotting murder to get the role they want. Took me a few pages and restarts (I've learnt the best way to deal with the prompts is to start writing and when you get blocked/run out of steam open up a new document and riff on the next idea the prompt gives you until you get were you want to be) to get where I wanted to be.*

Out of the two prompts so far, I'm on one and a quarter stories written in totality. Half a story for each, plus a quarter, too -- though I have so many starts and ideas from the prompts that I can defo come back and expand the ones that didn't make it past idea and first or second paragraph.

Should I be reporting back like this? Or am I spoiling the dynamic of the posted prompt? :)

*Aside from the theatrical understudy horror ideas, I ended up with a quarter of a story about what an academic keeps beneath her study and half a story about how a child understudies their parent. Both have potential and I woulda never thunk 'em without the prompt. Thankyou sophia.

Sophia
02-17-2012, 05:00 PM
Harry, that's brilliant to hear. It's exactly the outcome I was hoping for with this challenge. Good for you. :)

You can use this thread however you prefer. I like hearing how people are doing with the challenge, so no complaints from me!

Day 3 prompt:

The local wildlife.

Christopher Marcus
02-18-2012, 01:54 PM
I'm not doing that well - yet. But I have decided that given the current 'state of the rest of my life', I'd probably settle for voluntary "slacker"-status ... and only write from the prompts that really inspire me right away. So far I've done 1 out of 3. And the one I did turned out to be too long for a flash fic. :-)

It's not that there's anything wrong with the prompts! - nono, it's just that I've got a lot on my table already, so perhaps it was too ambitious for me to think I could do them all. I am probably not able to go into this challenge with as much commitment as I had hoped.

Anyway, I'm gonna hang in to the end and see how many I *do* get done, and then focus on the positive results. At least that's the constructive thing to do.

It is interesting, though, to think of this writing system in terms of what motives me (and others) to write. I did a little 'run' of flash fics during Christmas holidays, when I wrote 5 in 5 days (!). I'm not really sure what made it work for me at the time, except that I just hit the 'right energy' at the right time.

If we're going to use this thread some something else than the casual report of how things are going, I'd be very interested in hearing about how other people motivate themselves to write on a regular basis.

I reckon there are probably as many answers as there are writers :-)

My own very vague conclusions so far are as follows:

I do well when

I write with some sort of 'collective connection' - i.e. I have to show some people what I write, or have promised to show my writing to them

It is part of a larger project that is important to me - or associated with it

When I plan for it in such a way so that I feel it is a relaxing activity during the day, not a duty.

...

Well, I guess I have to work harder to make those parameters fit my participation in this challenge. It is, after all, my own responsibility!

But despite the clunky start, I'm grateful for being along for the ride.

Best,

Chris

Sophia
02-18-2012, 05:06 PM
Day 4 prompt:

The most dangerous street in town.

Chris,

I think many of us can identify with how you are feeling, and have been in that same place more than once. Your examples of the circumstances under which you do well make sense to me. If there are other FF writers who feel it would help them, too, then I'll see if they can be incorporated into the monthly challenge.

I'm going to create a social thread for this room, one where general discussion and supportive posts can have a permanent home that is separate from the smaller challenge threads. Chris, please feel free to copy your post over to there. I think it would make a great starting-off point.

Edit: We now have The Flash Fictioners' Corner Booth (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=237866). :)

Christopher Marcus
02-18-2012, 05:47 PM
Day 4 prompt:

The most dangerous street in town.

Chris,

I think many of us can identify with how you are feeling, and have been in that same place more than once. Your examples of the circumstances under which you do well make sense to me. If there are other FF writers who feel it would help them, too, then I'll see if they can be incorporated into the monthly challenge.

I'm going to create a social thread for this room, one where general discussion and supportive posts can have a permanent home that is separate from the smaller challenge threads. Chris, please feel free to copy your post over to there. I think it would make a great starting-off point.

Edit: We now have The Flash Fictioners' Corner Booth (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=237866). :)

Thank you, Sophia. I was a bit in doubt about whether or not my post was appropriate for this thread, but I didn't feel like posting a short status report, so I made a quick choice.

It's great that you've created the other sub-thread - thanks! I'll head over there and subscribe immediately :-)

Best,

Chris

HarryHoskins
02-19-2012, 06:23 AM
For the #3 & 4 I have ideas and a first paragraph or two -- but I forgive myself as it's the weekend, after all. :)

I think the idea of the fortnight is to push on, get the ideas and the writing going, hope to finish but be happy with a load of beginnings waiting to be worked on at ones leisure.

Saying that, I'm still super up for completing a story from prompt given to the tick-tock midnight that same night. So roll on the next prompt. :)

Sophia
02-19-2012, 05:47 PM
Day 5 prompt:

A lost battlefield.

Sophia
02-20-2012, 04:37 PM
Day 6 prompt:

Among the stars.

Sophia
02-21-2012, 05:50 PM
Day 7 prompt:

Prisoner exchange.

Izz
02-21-2012, 11:04 PM
Argh! Haven't written one story for the challenge yet. Tonight!

Sophia
02-22-2012, 11:11 AM
Day 8 prompt:

Hospitality.

Sophia
02-23-2012, 07:42 AM
Day 9 prompt:

An unusual neighbour.

Sophia
02-24-2012, 09:50 AM
Day 10 prompt:

Mirror images.

HarryHoskins
02-25-2012, 01:50 AM
Been a bit busy, but am back on the case. Still not completed a story but the stuff I've got is interesting and will defo not go to waste. My aim now -- as it was a few posts ago -- write a flash from start to finish. I shall succeed. :)

Sophia
02-25-2012, 10:57 AM
Day 11 prompt:

Secret gifts.

Sophia
02-26-2012, 02:27 PM
Day 12 prompt:

Down in the ravine.

Sophia
02-27-2012, 12:31 PM
Day 13 prompt:

The wrong soul.

Sophia
02-28-2012, 03:39 PM
Day 14 prompt:

Dissection.

Izz
02-29-2012, 01:34 AM
Another month of great prompts, Sophia! Thank you!

HarryHoskins
02-29-2012, 06:47 AM
Excellent stuff, Sophia. :)

I do declare this was the most engaging, infuriating -- and yet productive -- of monthly prompts I've taken part in. I have a lot of stuff written. Incomplete, yes -- but waiting for me to expand on. Nope, I didn't hit each prompt and nope (much to my shame) I didn't manage to complete a story I was happy with. However, the prompts are here and I have what I've written and plenty of ideas to develop.

This was an excellent process and I thouroughly encourage people to take part in it. It really tests you and is very rewarding. I learnt that I have become too: 'crikey, I'm writing' and forgotten the 'let's just riff' fun of my past.

It's a lesson learned that I will employ in my future writings and I wouldn't have learnt it without the FFF. Thanks for running this. It's appreciated. :)

Sophia
02-29-2012, 03:21 PM
Thanks very much, Izz and Harry, and congrats to you and all the participants for what you achieved this month. Warms my cockles, it does. :)

Christopher Marcus
03-01-2012, 12:55 PM
Well, I flunked it thoroughly - this time. It wasn't the right period to write FF for me - not amidst all the stress to finish my first ebook and some other projects which have dragged for a long time.

The reason it worked so well for me during X-mas time, at least for a week, when I did my own challenge ... I guess that's probably because it was just that: free time. I had wrapped up all sorts of projects and I felt like I could really cut loose.

The interesting lesson here, which is part of the reason that I'm sharing, is that it's not so much lack of time that prevents me from writing FF. I can always find at least an hour per day, during which it is possible to write a raw story of 1000 words or less - at least for me.

However, there is also the concept of 'psychological time' ... how many projects are bouncing around inside my poor little head at the same time. That limits what projects I feel I can gather the energy for, although a computer my reasonably conclude that I could still optimize my clock-time to get more writing done.

Okay, so what have I learned?

- Don't go into this, just because you feel guilty conscience - because you haven't "written enough" for a long time, because you didn't participate in the challenge the last time, etc.

- Make sure there is space in your head - that you have the "psychological time" (and of course, the clock-time). Goes without saying but it's still remarkable so easily I forget this

- Connect it to a project that means something to you. I'm pretty bad a writing FF without any context, e.g. as short stories in the same setting that I've been developing or with characters I already like and would want to revisit. A stand-alone story can be fine to do once in a while, but it's usually not something I should engage in unless I'm really sure I want to.

Well ... those were the words, sore bumps, blushing cheeks, hanging head and all.

But I'll definitely try again during another challenge. Maybe not next month, but at *some* point in the near future.

I just have to head my own lessons when that time comes, then I'm sure things will work out better for me :-)