Daily Archives: March 19, 2012

Friday Fictioneers – Muses and Methods

Every Friday, a group of writers from around the globe get together online to write 100 word stories based on a picture prompt. I am one of them, and hopefully you have already enjoyed some of my Friday stories, each of them with the picture at the top. 

The picture is our inspiration and it’s an interesting exercise to watch how different writers take it in different directions. Some writers have genres – sci fi, vampires, mystery – and others have ongoing sagas – a detective mystery, the adventures of two young boys… – and some just throw out a random piece, unconnected to the others in any way.

If I had to categorise mine, I would say that they tend to be curious little stories, set in the real world and with the occasional twist in the tail. There also seems to be a heavy helping of death and destruction, although usually with at least a hint of hope. That’s something like what I’m aiming for, anyway.

Madison posts the picture on a Wednesday. I know that many of my fellow Fictioneers consider and draft and edit for a couple of days before posting their pieces on a Friday. But personally, I prefer to use the picture as a snap exercise. I mean no disrespect to Madison, or to the other Fictioneers by this, it’s just an exercise I find useful. I don’t look at the picture until Friday morning. Then, I open it up, copy it straight into a word document and write the first story that comes to mind. I frequently write these stories entirely line by line, that is to say the picture triggers a sentence rather than a story idea, and I write not knowing where the story is going to lead.

I aim to spend no more than an hour on my post, usually it is a lot less. I have practised this enough to know what roughly 100 words feels like, so once the first draft is written, I only have to tweak maybe 10 words up or down, spell check it and fiddle with the odd incomplete image or inconsistent reference.

I like the rough-hewn nature of blogs and the instantaneous nature of flash fiction. Occasionally, it leaves me with the feeling that I could have written something better, but usually it creates a sense of accomplishment at what I can achieve in a tight timescale.

So I’m wondering, of other Fictioneers, and other bloggers in general – do you draft and edit? Do you write on the fly?And do you approach flash fiction differently from how you approach longer short stories? I’d love to hear from you!

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