February 2012 Flash Fiction Challenge!

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Sophia

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Welcome to the February Flash Fortnight!

The February Flash Fortnight 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!
 
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Sophia

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Yeah, I expect 14 stories from all of you, you slackers! :tongue :)
 

Sophia

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Aaaaand...

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Day 1 prompt:

Voices on the wire.
 

HarryHoskins

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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

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Good work, Harry! :)

Day 2 prompt:

The understudy.
 

HarryHoskins

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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

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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

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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

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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. :)
 
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Christopher Marcus

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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. :)

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

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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. :)
 

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Day 5 prompt:

A lost battlefield.
 

Sophia

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Day 6 prompt:

Among the stars.
 

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Day 7 prompt:

Prisoner exchange.
 

Izz

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Argh! Haven't written one story for the challenge yet. Tonight!
 

Sophia

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Day 8 prompt:

Hospitality.
 

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Day 9 prompt:

An unusual neighbour.
 

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Day 10 prompt:

Mirror images.
 

HarryHoskins

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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. :)
 

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Day 11 prompt:

Secret gifts.
 

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Day 12 prompt:

Down in the ravine.
 

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