Posts Tagged ‘flash fiction’

Flash Fiction to the Rescue

Morning, squiders! I talked a bit last week about how I’m having issues working on fiction with all that went down last month, and I think I’ve made a plan moving forward.

A couple years ago, I took a flash fiction course from Holly Lisle (you can find it here–it’s free). I was a little annoyed at the class set-up (you write all your beginnings, then all your middles, and then all your ends, and she recommends doing between 5 and 10 stories at a time) but I can’t argue with the results. I got four usable stories out of it, and I sold three without much trouble, which is pretty dang good odds.

(She also has a short story class–here–but I have not taken it and so cannot speak to its effectiveness.)

I’d remembered the class for some reason recently, and in my current state, it seems like as good a thing to go through as anything. I think I can tweak it a bit to aim more at 1000 words than the 500 the class is set up for, and also tweak it to get some stuff for specific projects.

I worked through the first part of the course yesterday (essentially identifying potential character motivations and the characters themselves) and already feel like I’ve got some solid ideas kicking around.

Of course, the challenge will be to see if the writing actually comes.

On the nonfiction front, I apparently got lazy on the last book when doing the posts on the blog, or else underestimated how much content I was leaving for the book itself. I’ve already written 3000 new words and still have two more new sections to put in. I’m also unsure about the book layout in general. Blargh. Things to have betas look at, I suppose.

I’m mostly annoyed because this is the last thing to get done before I can move into the beta stage, and it’s taking longer than expected.

How are you guys? Specific plans for the week or month?

Shorter is Sweeter?

Sometime last month I mentioned that I was going to attempt kitlitart’s picture book challenge. I like children, writing, and drawing, so I thought it would be fun.

Oh Batman, it is so hard.

You’ve got to make sure you’re telling a complete, easy-to-understand story in a very few amount of words. You’ve got to make sure that you’re not using any words that are too big. (Something I suspect I am failing at greatly.) And you’ve got to make sure there’s something in the story that the child can identify with.

I got writer’s block 123 words in and spent some time attempting to draw a station wagon. It turns out that I cannot draw station wagons. Alas. If this story ever sees the light of day, I hope they hire someone else to draw the final pictures.

And I got to thinking that, for me, shorter is harder. Those six-word stories? Can’t wrap my brain around them. I can manage a twitter story every once in a blue moon, and flash fiction is something that continuously eludes me. Once we get into short story territory, I’m fine, though I do tend towards the longer end (3-8K).  Succinct just isn’t in my blood.

It’s somewhat bell curvy, because there’s an upper limit (about 100K) that I can’t seem to get past either.

Any tips for picture books, Squiders? Do you find shorter works to be easier or harder? Where’s your comfort zone?