Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017


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Post March 29, 2017, 08:18:32 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Daniel Johnson wrote:So you really put a lot of time crafting a story. You allow your inspiration to come from your sensory experience around you such as your wife cleaning or the music you choose to listen to or maybe how you feel and you draw from that.

Also, the story sometimes winds up different than you originally planned.

When I write, if I outline and figure out everything before I write, I don't write. It stops being fun, so I stop writing it. It strangles the creativity, but on the other side of it, you have to know where you want to wind up or you won't get there. Yes, you might not hit the exact mark you were aiming at with the plot, but you will be in that neighborhood.

For me, it's a delicate balance of preplanned and seat of my pants dreaming to forge a story. It keeps it fun and achieves the goal I set when I started it, which is rewarding.

And you break up the scenes when you work on them and work on one for awhile and then put it down to rest from it and gain a fresh perspective next time.

It's a little less structured than that. Usually, when I actually sit down to write I go until I can't think of anything else, not because I deliberately chose to stop. Yes, I definitely wait to edit until a different day--I think that's vital for a good story edit--but usually I write until I'm out of gas on it. Now, my subconscious works on it all the while I'm not and I think a lot during the drive, but that's brainstorming and daydreaming with the plot, not actually writing.

First, I've learned from this and so thank you. Second, you really had to make a big effort to put this kind of time into your story, with all the other wrap up work your doing as editor.

I'm really honored.

I'm glad I could help you. Editing flash and shorts together now that Kate stepped down is a lot of work. Heck, shorts is a lot of work in itself, and I have to admit I'm looking forward to after the May issue, when none of this is my responsibility anymore. Until then, I'm just plugging away as I can.

Anyway, I have to make a flash index page for the next issue. Later!
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Post March 29, 2017, 09:17:53 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

I have an unusual method of writing, I sit in front of my computer with an ice cold six-pack of Löwenbrau and I drink and I write, until I'm done with both, usually simultaneously.

Those who have read my story, I'm sure already figured it out.

Everybody, thanks for the fun!
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Post March 30, 2017, 01:40:43 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

kailhofer wrote:When I write, if I outline and figure out everything before I write, I don't write. It stops being fun, so I stop writing it. It strangles the creativity, but on the other side of it, you have to know where you want to wind up or you won't get there. Yes, you might not hit the exact mark you were aiming at with the plot, but you will be in that neighborhood.

For me, it's a delicate balance of preplanned and seat of my pants dreaming to forge a story. It keeps it fun and achieves the goal I set when I started it, which is rewarding.

Writing is an adventure to you in itself. I never looked at it that way.

kailhofer wrote:It's a little less structured than that. Usually, when I actually sit down to write I go until I can't think of anything else, not because I deliberately chose to stop. Yes, I definitely wait to edit until a different day--I think that's vital for a good story edit--but usually I write until I'm out of gas on it. Now, my subconscious works on it all the while I'm not and I think a lot during the drive, but that's brainstorming and daydreaming with the plot, not actually writing.

You should write this out in an article and send it to features and other places. I'm keeping a copy of this and I'm sure other writers would benefit from your approach.

kailhofer wrote:I'm glad I could help you. Editing flash and shorts together now that Kate stepped down is a lot of work. Heck, shorts is a lot of work in itself, and I have to admit I'm looking forward to after the May issue, when none of this is my responsibility anymore. Until then, I'm just plugging away as I can.

Anyway, I have to make a flash index page for the next issue. Later!

I admire your work ethic. I don't see that often.
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Post March 30, 2017, 01:43:17 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

bingemeister wrote:I have an unusual method of writing, I sit in front of my computer with an ice cold six-pack of Löwenbrau and I drink and I write, until I'm done with both, usually simultaneously.

Those who have read my story, I'm sure already figured it out.

Everybody, thanks for the fun!

I think that would explain the whimsical approach to your style. Your story was really funny.
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Post March 30, 2017, 01:43:49 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

10 members have voted so far.

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Post March 30, 2017, 03:03:17 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

jpharrin wrote:I had no idea how the story would end before I started writing. That's fine with me. I like letting the characters tell the story without being hindered by my single-mindedness toward the tale.

Doesn't that make you nervous, writing a story and not knowing how it will end? I use an outline to develop the plot and then add the action and then the dialogue and then the description. I kind of thought everyone did that.

Does your way motivate you more?
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Post March 30, 2017, 04:09:25 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Personally I find the most overwhelming thing was the number of participants. As the former contest runner I would have been through the roof to have 12 people participate. If I got 6 each time I would have danced a jig.

Good Job!
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Post March 30, 2017, 04:44:35 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Doug Minton wrote:
jpharrin wrote:I had no idea how the story would end before I started writing. That's fine with me. I like letting the characters tell the story without being hindered by my single-mindedness toward the tale.

Doesn't that make you nervous, writing a story and not knowing how it will end? I use an outline to develop the plot and then add the action and then the dialogue and then the description. I kind of thought everyone did that.

Does your way motivate you more?


Maybe at first I found it unsettleing not knowing the ending before I started, but after a while I realized that 1) if I waited until I knew the ending I might never write the story, and 2) there were too many instances where the actual ending for a story was different than what I had in mind when I started. Often this was because I learned more about the characters as I wrote the story and my ending didn't fit with what I'd learned about them. Heck, I had one story where after writing the first draft, I dumped the main character and rewrote the story with a minor character becoming the MC. :D For another story, the only thing I knew before starting was the first sentence.

Jim
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Post March 30, 2017, 09:44:35 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

EddieSullivan wrote:Personally I find the most overwhelming thing was the number of participants. As the former contest runner I would have been through the roof to have 12 people participate. If I got 6 each time I would have danced a jig.

Good Job!

Thank you Eddie.

It's the time promoting - time equals participation. Getting the word out and being grateful for writers wanting to create in our forum. It's a time factor.

I read your story eleven times and I'm no closer to getting my fill. I'll comment more later.
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Post March 30, 2017, 09:48:21 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

jpharrin wrote:
Doug Minton wrote:
jpharrin wrote:I had no idea how the story would end before I started writing. That's fine with me. I like letting the characters tell the story without being hindered by my single-mindedness toward the tale.

Doesn't that make you nervous, writing a story and not knowing how it will end? I use an outline to develop the plot and then add the action and then the dialogue and then the description. I kind of thought everyone did that.

Does your way motivate you more?


Maybe at first I found it unsettleing not knowing the ending before I started, but after a while I realized that 1) if I waited until I knew the ending I might never write the story, and 2) there were too many instances where the actual ending for a story was different than what I had in mind when I started. Often this was because I learned more about the characters as I wrote the story and my ending didn't fit with what I'd learned about them. Heck, I had one story where after writing the first draft, I dumped the main character and rewrote the story with a minor character becoming the MC. :D For another story, the only thing I knew before starting was the first sentence.

Jim

When I write Jim, I search for the concept which takes awhile. I work hard at it until I can visualize the story from beginning to end. I do all the editing in my mind until I love it, then the writing is easy cause I'm motivated. But getting the concept is the hardest part for me.

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Post March 30, 2017, 09:54:43 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

I got to get involved next time. I'll motivate myself starting now. These stories are great!

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Post March 30, 2017, 11:47:22 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

jpharrin wrote:
Doug Minton wrote:
jpharrin wrote:I had no idea how the story would end before I started writing. That's fine with me. I like letting the characters tell the story without being hindered by my single-mindedness toward the tale.

Doesn't that make you nervous, writing a story and not knowing how it will end? I use an outline to develop the plot and then add the action and then the dialogue and then the description. I kind of thought everyone did that.

Does your way motivate you more?


Maybe at first I found it unsettleing not knowing the ending before I started, but after a while I realized that 1) if I waited until I knew the ending I might never write the story, and 2) there were too many instances where the actual ending for a story was different than what I had in mind when I started. Often this was because I learned more about the characters as I wrote the story and my ending didn't fit with what I'd learned about them. Heck, I had one story where after writing the first draft, I dumped the main character and rewrote the story with a minor character becoming the MC. :D For another story, the only thing I knew before starting was the first sentence.

Jim

So you let the story write itself and let the characters emerge naturally instead of making the story follow where YOU want it to go. Did I understand it right?

Up to now, I write the outline and what I want to show the readers. Once I write the plot by outline, all other elements follow that plot. It may seem rigid, but actually it gives me peace.

I'll try doing it your way the next time I write a story, which may be in the next challenge.

doug

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Post March 31, 2017, 06:49:08 AM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

jpharrin wrote:
Daniel Johnson wrote:
Let's kick up the conversation. Talk about Aphelion, the challenges, your writing. You authors worked hard on these stories. Now have some fun!


Instead of commenting on a specific story from this month's entries, I thought I'd write about how I came up with the idea for mine. Before starting any story, I mull over ideas as they come to me, in this case prodded by a prompt. I rarely choose the first one that pops into my head (although it happens occasionally). It might be the fourth, or fifth or sixth; but it's always the one that won't go away. I then let the idea ruminate for a day or two, often jotting down a few scraps of ideas about characters, plot and/or location, so I don't forget them.

In the case of this story, the first things I decided on were the "mistake" (I didn't know yet how the MC was dealing with his error, per the prompt), the characters' names, the timeframe and location. Now I felt I knew enough about the situation to begin writing. As is often the case--and it happened with "Double Play"--I had no idea how the story would end before I started writing. That's fine with me. I like letting the characters tell the story without being hindered by my single-mindedness toward the tale.

How about you? How did you come up with the idea for the story your submitted?

Writing well really sounds complicated. Should people take a class and study it before writing a story or is writing the best way you can okay here and just try to get better.

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Post March 31, 2017, 01:20:47 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

The Fisher of Men wrote:
jpharrin wrote:
Daniel Johnson wrote:
Let's kick up the conversation. Talk about Aphelion, the challenges, your writing. You authors worked hard on these stories. Now have some fun!


Instead of commenting on a specific story from this month's entries, I thought I'd write about how I came up with the idea for mine. Before starting any story, I mull over ideas as they come to me, in this case prodded by a prompt. I rarely choose the first one that pops into my head (although it happens occasionally). It might be the fourth, or fifth or sixth; but it's always the one that won't go away. I then let the idea ruminate for a day or two, often jotting down a few scraps of ideas about characters, plot and/or location, so I don't forget them.

In the case of this story, the first things I decided on were the "mistake" (I didn't know yet how the MC was dealing with his error, per the prompt), the characters' names, the timeframe and location. Now I felt I knew enough about the situation to begin writing. As is often the case--and it happened with "Double Play"--I had no idea how the story would end before I started writing. That's fine with me. I like letting the characters tell the story without being hindered by my single-mindedness toward the tale.

How about you? How did you come up with the idea for the story your submitted?

Writing well really sounds complicated. Should people take a class and study it before writing a story or is writing the best way you can okay here and just try to get better.


Many of the top writers say the best way to learn the craft is to write (and read) everyday. I've taken a few inexpensive online courses that helped me along the way. There are also lots of online (like Aphelion) and local writing groups that can be of tremendous help. It really depends on how far you want to go with your writing.

ADDED: I also found a number of books on writing at my local public library that provided a lot of great information.

Jim
Last edited by jpharrin on March 31, 2017, 01:29:53 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post March 31, 2017, 01:28:08 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Doug Minton wrote:
jpharrin wrote:
Doug Minton wrote:
jpharrin wrote:I had no idea how the story would end before I started writing. That's fine with me. I like letting the characters tell the story without being hindered by my single-mindedness toward the tale.

Doesn't that make you nervous, writing a story and not knowing how it will end? I use an outline to develop the plot and then add the action and then the dialogue and then the description. I kind of thought everyone did that.

Does your way motivate you more?


Maybe at first I found it unsettleing not knowing the ending before I started, but after a while I realized that 1) if I waited until I knew the ending I might never write the story, and 2) there were too many instances where the actual ending for a story was different than what I had in mind when I started. Often this was because I learned more about the characters as I wrote the story and my ending didn't fit with what I'd learned about them. Heck, I had one story where after writing the first draft, I dumped the main character and rewrote the story with a minor character becoming the MC. :D For another story, the only thing I knew before starting was the first sentence.

Jim

So you let the story write itself and let the characters emerge naturally instead of making the story follow where YOU want it to go. Did I understand it right?

Up to now, I write the outline and what I want to show the readers. Once I write the plot by outline, all other elements follow that plot. It may seem rigid, but actually it gives me peace.

I'll try doing it your way the next time I write a story, which may be in the next challenge.

doug
Doug Minton wrote:
jpharrin wrote:
Doug Minton wrote:
jpharrin wrote:I had no idea how the story would end before I started writing. That's fine with me. I like letting the characters tell the story without being hindered by my single-mindedness toward the tale.

Doesn't that make you nervous, writing a story and not knowing how it will end? I use an outline to develop the plot and then add the action and then the dialogue and then the description. I kind of thought everyone did that.

Does your way motivate you more?


Maybe at first I found it unsettleing not knowing the ending before I started, but after a while I realized that 1) if I waited until I knew the ending I might never write the story, and 2) there were too many instances where the actual ending for a story was different than what I had in mind when I started. Often this was because I learned more about the characters as I wrote the story and my ending didn't fit with what I'd learned about them. Heck, I had one story where after writing the first draft, I dumped the main character and rewrote the story with a minor character becoming the MC. :D For another story, the only thing I knew before starting was the first sentence.

Jim

So you let the story write itself and let the characters emerge naturally instead of making the story follow where YOU want it to go. Did I understand it right?

Up to now, I write the outline and what I want to show the readers. Once I write the plot by outline, all other elements follow that plot. It may seem rigid, but actually it gives me peace.

I'll try doing it your way the next time I write a story, which may be in the next challenge.

doug


Maybe you could share your experience with trying something new. It might provide a different insight for the rest of us.
Jim

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Post March 31, 2017, 03:06:23 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

AdariasWrath23 wrote:Morning everyone,

I like that some of the authors have explained the process for their story lines, so I'll take a swing at that, too.

My story is actually an idea for a fantasy novel I was tossing around about a group called the Hero Forge. Like in the flash fiction, the group uses questionable means to bring out the best in people, but in the novel they would ultimately create the greatest enemy ever known and be revealed as a misled cult rather than a force of good in the world.

The backstory of it all is this: What if the bad things we do in life have a purpose for the greater good? Maybe sometimes the universe is steering us in a necessary direction. I, personally, would like to think we make mistakes to grow and evolve into better people (and who knows, maybe one day into heroes)!

Thanks again for the writing poke. Just because I'm quiet doesn't mean I'm not here.

Hope

Oh, that is so moving.

I love your writing style. I wish I could find one of my own that was personally identifiable and moved people like your story does. How long did it take you to write this story and when do you think you'll be finished with the novel?

Is there any place I can go to read more of your stories?

Jennifer Stein
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Post March 31, 2017, 03:41:14 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Everyone who wants is welcome to watch live every Saturday or subscribe to the podcast.


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUwOfc ... 1W5R0QNHXg

This might help a little.
Also you can ask us to do any topic you want and we can work it in if you are a regular listener.
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Post March 31, 2017, 07:00:22 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

jmstein wrote:
AdariasWrath23 wrote:Morning everyone,

I like that some of the authors have explained the process for their story lines, so I'll take a swing at that, too.

My story is actually an idea for a fantasy novel I was tossing around about a group called the Hero Forge. Like in the flash fiction, the group uses questionable means to bring out the best in people, but in the novel they would ultimately create the greatest enemy ever known and be revealed as a misled cult rather than a force of good in the world.

The backstory of it all is this: What if the bad things we do in life have a purpose for the greater good? Maybe sometimes the universe is steering us in a necessary direction. I, personally, would like to think we make mistakes to grow and evolve into better people (and who knows, maybe one day into heroes)!

Thanks again for the writing poke. Just because I'm quiet doesn't mean I'm not here.

Hope

Oh, that is so moving.

I love your writing style. I wish I could find one of my own that was personally identifiable and moved people like your story does. How long did it take you to write this story and when do you think you'll be finished with the novel?

Is there any place I can go to read more of your stories?

Jennifer Stein


Thank you so much for the kind words! I wrote this story in a few hours, mainly because I had already toyed with the idea so much, but I write research articles as a living, so speedy writing has become second nature to me.

As for the novel, it will likely be 6 months before it gets sent out for publishing. Some of my older stories are actually archived on this webzine, and that's currently the best place to read them. Just know those were the days before I had a better grasp of working grammar and proofreading ;)

Hope
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Post March 31, 2017, 08:17:53 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

The Fisher of Men wrote:Writing well really sounds complicated. Should people take a class and study it before writing a story or is writing the best way you can okay here and just try to get better.

You could study. You could do a lot of things. There's a ton out there to help.

More locally, Aphelion exists above all else to provide people a place to write and improve their craft by doing that writing. You can write in the challenges, you can read through the old forum threads for advice on situations you may be having trouble with in your writing, or you can write and submit stories for the zine version of Aphelion. All of that can help a writer improve.

Heck, read the 600+ stories in the Flash Indexes here in the Fun and Games folder. All of those were people submitting in these challenges. See what they've done, find something or a writing style you like, and see where you can try something like what they did.

Participating just like that at Aphelion has helped over well over 200 writers improve to the point they turned pro. That's why Dan Hollifield has paid the bills to keep this site and forum running, advertising free, for 20 years.

Above all, just keep writing and sharing your writing with others. The act of doing it and the feedback you get can be invaluable as you progress through your writing career.
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Post March 31, 2017, 11:44:22 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

As of now,15 members have voted.

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Post April 01, 2017, 06:06:22 AM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Daniel Johnson wrote:
kailhofer wrote:Your question also crosses over into how one writes the story, at least for me it does. I seldom have my story figured out when I first start. I might have a general theme or target in mind, but not more than that. Usually, the opening sequence of a scene pops into my head and I write that down. It's usually pretty short, less than a hundred words. It's not even a whole scene--just an opener, an image or action to hook interest. The next day, I fumble around, trying to find a direction I want to go, and honestly, what music I want to play when writing to help give the story the right feel. That generally gets me to between 200-300 words. Then I think about it during drive times to and from work and generally figure out how I want to end the story, without writing it down. Then, the next time I sit down I either come up with the bridge in the middle or go finish through to the ending I figured out. Often, the ending changes from where I thought it would go.

During the editing process, the story becomes more focused, and frequently changes the ending a bit. It did for me, in this one. I thought the ending I had wasn't strong enough, so I rewrote until I was happy with it, going back and changing things to support it in the earlier parts of the story.

As for subject matter, my wife hates dirt in a home. Before she went back to school and became a successful paralegal, she cleaned houses. So, I was trying to edit and format stories for the next issue of Aphelion and she was cleaning the den where I was working, making a heck of a racket with the vacuum, trying to get every little spec of it around me, and breaking my concentration. (It's possible I'm the messy one in our house.) Watching her, it struck me that it could be a fun challenge for myself to write a story about dirt and dust, but then, how do you make a tragic mistake with dust? That was tricky. I like characters best who are flawed. The prompt for this one showed it should be a big mistake that one has a hard time living with, and may shape their life trying to make up for it.

Thinking about those things gave me the plot for my story.

What about the rest of you?


PS, I should really add that I was helped by how human Daniel made his excellent challenge prompt. Mistakes and regret. That was right up my alley.

So you really put a lot of time crafting a story. You allow your inspiration to come from your sensory experience around you such as your wife cleaning or the music you choose to listen to or maybe how you feel and you draw from that.

Also, the story sometimes winds up different than you originally planned.

And you break up the scenes when you work on them and work on one for awhile and then put it down to rest from it and gain a fresh perspective next time.

First, I've learned from this and so thank you. Second, you really had to make a big effort to put this kind of time into your story, with all the other wrap up work your doing as editor.

I'm really honored.


I have an exceedingly different process to Nate.

Inspiration can come from many places. Sometimes a prompt will shout at me, pointing me directly in a certain direction. Sometimes it will be quiet, and take a lot of mulling about things before I get any idea of where to go with it. But once I have an idea - once I know where I'm going - the entire story tends to turn up in one sitting.

This may be because I'm overly picky with my ideas - if I don't have enough for a flash story, then the idea isn't enough for me to grab on to. (I've tried a couple of longer works - nanowrimo and so forth - and I can get stuck on a longer story. But if I don't have enough for a flash, then I generally consider that as no different from not having anything at all).

In this particular case, I took my inspiration from the idea of being able to go back and fix a mistake... and then I had to turn it about and figure out what kind of mistake couldn't be fixed like that...

Anyhow, I've been away for a while, and it's good to be back. Thanks for sending that PM about the contest, Daniel!

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Post April 01, 2017, 06:44:34 AM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Doug Minton wrote:Doesn't that make you nervous, writing a story and not knowing how it will end? I use an outline to develop the plot and then add the action and then the dialogue and then the description. I kind of thought everyone did that.

Does your way motivate you more?


You are way more structured than I am.

I generally know what's going on at the start - the major characters, the major problem, the major point of the scene - and then I sit down and write the scene. In longer works, I may not know the point of the story until some time into it - the point of the story not necessarily being the same as the point of any given scene - but in flash, the story usually is just the scene.

But once the scene is written - well, then it forms the starting point, the initial conditions for the next scene. I can't really plan out the next scene until this one is done, because often this one will veer a little off course... and that discovery, of how things work as they go, is an important part of the writing for me. If I have it all planned out to the last dot before I write, then what's the point of actually typing it out? That would just be tedious and boring.

Doug Minton wrote:So you let the story write itself and let the characters emerge naturally instead of making the story follow where YOU want it to go. Did I understand it right?

Up to now, I write the outline and what I want to show the readers. Once I write the plot by outline, all other elements follow that plot. It may seem rigid, but actually it gives me peace.

I'll try doing it your way the next time I write a story, which may be in the next challenge.

doug


Writing is an act of negotiation between the author and the characters. The characters must remain true to their motivations - they must have reason to care about what's important to the story, reason to motivate themselves to keep the plot moving.

If you have the right initial conditions, the story will run along easily. If you have the wrong initial conditions, you'll suddenly realise that your hero would be more interested in something else than in the story you intended to write...

(I came across an excellent short story a while back that really played with that divide... see here)
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Post April 01, 2017, 03:54:13 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

I have an exceedingly different process to Nate.

Inspiration can come from many places. Sometimes a prompt will shout at me, pointing me directly in a certain direction. Sometimes it will be quiet, and take a lot of mulling about things before I get any idea of where to go with it. But once I have an idea - once I know where I'm going - the entire story tends to turn up in one sitting.

This may be because I'm overly picky with my ideas - if I don't have enough for a flash story, then the idea isn't enough for me to grab on to. (I've tried a couple of longer works - nanowrimo and so forth - and I can get stuck on a longer story. But if I don't have enough for a flash, then I generally consider that as no different from not having anything at all).

In this particular case, I took my inspiration from the idea of being able to go back and fix a mistake... and then I had to turn it about and figure out what kind of mistake couldn't be fixed like that...

Fascinating! I'm learning a lot about crafting stories.

I'd like to here from the other authors - if you like, tell about the process or method you use to create stories.

Anyhow, I've been away for a while, and it's good to be back. Thanks for sending that PM about the contest, Daniel!

Thank you, Casey. I'm glad to have you here.
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Post April 01, 2017, 03:57:44 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

kailhofer wrote:
The Fisher of Men wrote:Writing well really sounds complicated. Should people take a class and study it before writing a story or is writing the best way you can okay here and just try to get better.

You could study. You could do a lot of things. There's a ton out there to help.

More locally, Aphelion exists above all else to provide people a place to write and improve their craft by doing that writing. You can write in the challenges, you can read through the old forum threads for advice on situations you may be having trouble with in your writing, or you can write and submit stories for the zine version of Aphelion. All of that can help a writer improve.

Heck, read the 600+ stories in the Flash Indexes here in the Fun and Games folder. All of those were people submitting in these challenges. See what they've done, find something or a writing style you like, and see where you can try something like what they did.

Participating just like that at Aphelion has helped over well over 200 writers improve to the point they turned pro. That's why Dan Hollifield has paid the bills to keep this site and forum running, advertising free, for 20 years.

Above all, just keep writing and sharing your writing with others. The act of doing it and the feedback you get can be invaluable as you progress through your writing career.

Sound advice Fisher!

You going to have people here to help you and be a sounding board for you. I will give you good comments tomorrow about your story.

Above all, keep writing!
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Post April 01, 2017, 04:00:13 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

CCC wrote:Writing is an act of negotiation between the author and the characters. The characters must remain true to their motivations - they must have reason to care about what's important to the story, reason to motivate themselves to keep the plot moving.

Wow! You are letting the characters write the story as if they are real, live person's. I love that!
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Post April 01, 2017, 04:02:54 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

AdariasWrath23 wrote:Some of my older stories are actually archived on this webzine, and that's currently the best place to read them.

Hope

I will make a beeline for them. Thanks.
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Post April 01, 2017, 04:03:37 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

16 members have voted.

CCC

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Post April 01, 2017, 04:54:11 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Daniel Johnson wrote:Wow! You are letting the characters write the story as if they are real, live person's. I love that!


That's one way to describe it, but not, I think, entirely accurate.

It's more like... I come up with a character. This character has motivations, personality, likes, dislikes. If the character hates chocolate cake on page 17, then he can't suddenly claim it's always been his favourite food on page 297. That's a trivial example, but it goes deeper than that. The coward who ran away at the start of the story will need to undergo a certain amount of character development if he's to become the hero who slays the dragon at the end... and that must be shown to happen. The man who couldn't put together a TV remote at the start of the story isn't going to be the one repairing the starship's stardrive at the end unless he learns something on the way.

Sometimes, one gets to a point in the story where the character has been well established, and, as author, you know exactly what he would do in the current situation. And it isn't what you'd originally planned for him to do at that point in the plot. (There are several ways to deal with this. I prefer running with the new idea and seeing what happens, personally, but it's also possible to go back and change his characterisation so that he is the sort of person who would do what you want... or change the situation around him in some way, such as cutting off all escape routes... or have him run away from the intended story, and then have the universe around him conspire to force him back on his intended path (a fourth-wall-breaking protagonist can actually complain to the author about this treatment)... it's usually a bad idea to just make him do it anyway).
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Post April 02, 2017, 04:52:03 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Hope I'm not too late; just sent my votes.

Some really exceptional work this month!
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Post April 02, 2017, 05:52:07 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

The Fisher of Men wrote:Writing well really sounds complicated. Should people take a class and study it before writing a story or is writing the best way you can okay here and just try to get better.

We have our own pile of resources here (and it is kind of in a pile)--the Writers Workshop subforum. Start at the top and just check each topic. Lots of stuff there; some more useful than others, perhaps.

Some of these give links to other very good sites with bountiful instruction on every aspect of writing.

I've put a few of these there myself; I make it a practice to use free resources where I can find them.

Just root through the pile; you'll find some good stuff.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?
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