Systemic Risk in Flash Challenges


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Post July 11, 2015, 06:34:38 PM

Systemic Risk in Flash Challenges

Finally someone other than me voiced this one, so in Summer 2015, I feel it's not 2006 anymore, and time to address this.

pahosler wrote:I can tell already the story I'm writing is going to grow way past the 1000 word limit so I may consider submitting to the short story section for the first time ever. If I can finish it I'll try to come up with a flash piece to enter. I'm having way too much fun with the story I'm working on to not give it a longer treatment.


Eddie also went through a small crisis of faith, with the recent challenges.

For me, it's time to voice a long brewing couple of serious concerns.

*Edit - this was here so long I'll leave this first part as is*
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Post July 12, 2015, 11:37:09 AM

Re: Systemic Risk in Flash Challenges

That's happened to me a couple of times; got wayyyy over the word-count and still wasn't done, loving what was happening with my story—then had to butcher it to bits to make the deadline.

So, what to do?
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Post July 12, 2015, 02:03:18 PM

Re: Systemic Risk in Flash Challenges

I've had that happen a few times. I used the flash as an outline the same way I use my poems.

Listen folks, FLASH IS FLASH, just-the-way-it-is. Sometimes you feel like a flash and sometimes you don't.

said haiku in poetry
is flash tradition
7/5/7 heart beat

When I play, race, shoot, whatever it may be, I accept and play by the given rules, or I go away.

FLASH is tough, no way around it. It forces the writer to maximum economy of words and forces the reader to accept maximum possibilities and interpretations of said story without all the accoutrements that will round out a short story or novel. Some things get minimized, i.e. dialog for one.

Love and punches,

RT
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Post July 13, 2015, 08:52:39 AM

Re: Systemic Risk in Flash Challenges

Dating Star Storm was the first flash for the contest that I wrote that actually had less than 1000 words when I finished it. Doc Z Goes Fishing and Bioluminescence were both way over the word count and suffered mightily from brutal word and entire sentence cuts. Interestingly DSS was my highest scoring of the three. Thank you voters!

Flash is remarkably difficult to write. I've learned a lot from writing it. The story I'm writing now, which was meant to be for the random words challenge, is half-way to the word count maximum and less than a quarter of the way into the story. Sure I can finish it and chop it down, take out a lot of the words, etc. but I really don't want to do that to this particular story. I already have another idea for the contest. I feel fortunate that I've been given two fun ideas from three little random words.

I definitely want to enter this months challenge. How fun would it be to beat Eddie and continue his "never won the contest" streak LOL ;)
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Post July 13, 2015, 11:07:56 AM

Re: Systemic Risk in Flash Challenges

I want everyone to try to beat me. I have made some progress as a writer in the time I have not been participating. Either I win or I have caused someone to write well to defeat me. It doesn't seem like much of a loss either way. Ever since I started wearing the editorial hat I feel pride when I expedite others creativity too. But you better bring your "A" !
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman
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Post July 13, 2015, 03:16:27 PM

Re: Systemic Risk in Flash Challenges

Eddie I love that you're competing this time! No PEEKING at the other entries and then tweaking yours. LOL
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Post July 13, 2015, 03:27:28 PM

Re: Systemic Risk in Flash Challenges

I am not opening my forum mail till my finish draft is done. First because if I don't legitimately serve you guys then it means nothing to me. Second because I actually believe if I peeked it would create a situation where I would make my work worse fretting over trying to write someone's style instead of focusing on my strong points and I would almost definitely lose. Always write your best story, don't write someone else's way.

I will be writing tonight or tomorrow FYI.

Usually peeking would only mean Sergio anyway because I was always the second to submit and occasionally first.
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Post August 04, 2015, 10:38:32 AM

Re: Systemic Risk in Flash Challenges

The big outlet I can think of about "this world is so cool why waste it on Flash" got a boost lately because Eddie says you can re-use your world in a later entry. Before I forgot about my half post I think I was thinking that it then means that, besides people guessing, it becomes totally clear who wrote a story, and that begins to change the nature of the voting.

So then I don't know of anyone here who would "vote for their friend". We've been our core group too long for that. So if people start developing their worlds, it could be a brand new story direction (and maybe invigorate things?) because people can get a cool idea one day, then in another entry think of a different angle, and then work themselves up to a big treatment for the main 'zine.

I have pondered this for a long time - another way to say it was that before, once you had an entry, "you could never visit the world again" and it did feel like a waste.

So to Rick Tornello's point, I am quite fine with the 1000 word limit as a format. It's becoming clearer to me that what creaks at the seams is the "blind voting". This is only intuition at this point, but if you have a great world going, it's "easy" to find a niche to create a flash entry out of it. It reminds me of TV writing.

Thoughts?

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Post August 04, 2015, 10:43:24 AM

Re: Systemic Risk in Flash Challenges

The big outlet I can think of about "this world is so cool why waste it on Flash" got a boost lately because Eddie says you can re-use your world in a later entry. Before I forgot about my half post I think I was thinking that it then means that, besides people guessing, it becomes totally clear who wrote a story, and that begins to change the nature of the voting.

So then I don't know of anyone here who would "vote for their friend". We've been our core group too long for that. So if people start developing their worlds, it could be a brand new story direction (and maybe invigorate things?) because people can get a cool idea one day, then in another entry think of a different angle, and then work themselves up to a big treatment for the main 'zine.

I have pondered this for a long time - another way to say it was that before, once you had an entry, "you could never visit the world again" and it did feel like a waste.

So to Rick Tornello's point, I am quite fine with the 1000 word limit as a format. It's becoming clearer to me that what creaks at the seams is the "blind voting". This is only intuition at this point, but if you have a great world going, it's "easy" to find a niche to create a flash entry out of it. It reminds me of TV writing.

The first "concern" - but is it - is if we get our gang of regulars all developing 2-3 worlds each, and each entry becomes one of those, whether people won't vote "for their friend", but that they are stunned with someone's world, and end up voting for all the entries in that world. Just think of any of your top 20 out of say the 1000 best known "genre" books, and the days when you were just enraptured by something.

How does that mood change things? At the moment I think what we saw is we have lost a lot of people to the passage of time (including me! Yikes!) So I think I am grinding toward the point of "what if things *do* change for a while"?

Change is hard to handle! But it's that old clash between again TV, either you love a show because it's always exactly on point, or you get bored that it is "sterile", vs a riskier show that shoots for the stars and either makes it, or crashes back into the ocean or the sun.

Thoughts?

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