Monday, December 6, 2010

Flash Fiction: The Perfect Gift

Exciting news: I’ve had another flash fiction published at AntipodeanSF. You can find it here: The Perfect Gift. Let me know what you think. You can even vote for your favourite stories.

Writing flash fiction takes discipline. This particular flash fiction is less than 500 words. I needed to keep the story tight without losing any of the magic.

Before I wrote this one I wrote about three other short stories. They all started as flash fictions, but they all blew out on the word count. I wanted to develop the stories further. I wanted to explore the characters and their motives. Two finished at over 3000 words, and one I’ll keep as a potential novel idea.

Writing flash fiction is a great exercise for writers to hone their skills and keep their imagination firing. What are some of the things you do to sharpen your skills and stay creative?


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Please note: I will be taking a blogging break for the next two weeks. I will be around a little, but I won’t have time to post anything new for a while. I’ll be back by the 20th Dec for Jen and Melissa’s Jolly Golly Blogfest.

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56 comments:

  1. I'll see you when you get back. I'm off to read the FF!

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  2. I'll still have time to reply to comments :)

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  3. I've never done it myself. Or I may have done it once or twice and not none it, probably because the flash got me thinking of a longer story and that took me in a different direction.

    My mind just works longer. It's so hard to write flash!

    Jai

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  4. Congratulations!!! That's brilliant news!!

    I love writing flash fiction - love it and I also enjoy reading flash fic!!

    I write very bad poetry - it takes a lot of time and effort writing bad poetry!! Also blog posts. I edit and re-edit! So I guess that helps too!

    Have a brilliant break!! See you soon! take care
    x

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  5. he he I didn't get who or what they actually are, but I loved the story and the charming ending :) And I just love whenever I hear the word "billabong" although I'm not quite sure what it means Down Under :)

    Oh, I shall miss you terribly, Lyndylove! Terribly, terribly!

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  6. That's so awesome and I'm sure very challenging...Have a nice break and Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to you. God bless you.

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  7. Jai, writing flash fiction is not easy at all.

    Old Kitty, thanks. Hehe, I'm with you on the bad poetry ;)

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  8. Dezzybabyhun, you are wonderful and I'll still pop in occasionally to check out what cool movie news you have on your blog.

    I'm thrilled you liked my story. Thanks so much for the feedback. I REALLY appreciate it.

    P.S. A billabong is a small lake ;)

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  9. Rcubes, extremely challenging. I'll be back before Christmas (God willing). Blessings to you too :)

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  10. oh, so it's a small lake! I love it, it's such a melodic word! While singing WALTZING MATILDA, I Often asked myself what BILABONG meant :)

    Oh, so you DO promise you will be dropping by for a coffee over at my headquarters during your voluntary exile! :)

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  11. Dezzy, yes, I'll be dropping by...but maybe not for a coffee. I'm hoping there will be a hot chocolate maybe? ;)

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  12. Congrats on your flash fiction! I've tried my hand at it a few times and you're right, it does take incredible discipline and it can be tricky to stay in that 500 word count. Good for you!

    ♥ Mary Mary

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  13. Congratulations on your story!

    I've never tried writing flash fiction; it does sound like a good idea though, so I might just try it sometime . . .

    Have a great blogging break! :)

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  14. Mary, thanks

    Golden, I do recommend it.

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  15. Congrats on your story!

    I agree, which is why I generally write with the Friday Flash group most every week.

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  16. Laura, your flash fictions are fabulous.

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  17. I've never done Flash Fiction. It's definitely a skill. I've read some really good ones online, though. Now, off to read one more.

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  18. I've always loved reading flash fiction, but never able to write it! You have to have a distinct talent to pull it off, and you've definitely got it Lynda!

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  19. that flash sizzled!!
    loved it!
    :)
    have a nice break!! :)

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  20. Happy Whisk, thanks.

    Helen, I'd love to know what you think.

    Nathalie, oh, thank you so much. Big hugs for such kind words.

    Aspiring, another hug for you. Thanks so much. I wrote it way back in May or June so I've been itching for it to reach the public eye for ages.

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  21. I have to be honest--flash fiction scares me a little. But in a goose-bumpy, anticipatory way. I'd really like to try it. I think it would actually be a fantastic way to sharpen my skills.

    I think one of the most helpful thing I do that strengths my writing skill is reading. I read voraciously, and never as much as I'd like.

    Even better for honing those skills? Beta reading. It forces you to think and interact with fiction in a way most people don't. I think, as writers in general, we're always analyzing the work we read, but that analyzation is REALLY put to the test when we're focused on bettering something.

    Reading other peoples' work has really taught me to approach my OWN work with a clearer, more objective eye.

    Awesome post! Lots of great thoughts coming out of it!

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  22. Awesome story, Lynda! I loved it!

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  23. Congrats on your flash fiction publication! I'm in awe of anyone who can do that. Have a nice bloggy break - I'll miss you!

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  24. Much congrats, Lynda!! I whipped right over and read it, because I'd never read any of your writing. I loved it! I totally did not guess the ending, and it flowed really well. (The only thing I wasn't clear on was--were they human or not?)

    It's difficult to write a clear beginning, middle, and end in that short # of words, but you sure did it! Very nice. ;o) I can see why it got accepted. Enjoy your break!

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  25. Found you through another blogger.

    Enjoy your two-week break. I'll check back in when you come back.
    Ann Best, Long Journey Home

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  26. p.s. Just read over and read your FF. It was delightful!!! I have it five stars. I only give five stars to stories/books that are really tops. This one is. Excellent dialogue. Surprise twist that worked. Good job, as my daughter would say!!!
    Ann Best, Long Journey Home

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  27. Woot! It is very good. I really enjoyed it. Like how the ordinary melted into something else. :D

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  28. Enjoy your two weeks off!

    I keep up my creativity? I sometimes write scenes that I know will never end up in the final draft, just for fun. Fluff with characters I love.

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  29. Shayda, you should give it a go. It's a fantastic way of sharpening those skills. And yes, reading is so important for strengthening writing skills. I think I automtically beta read when I read anything too. On top of that, I drive my husband crazy when we watch movies and I pull the story apart.

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  30. Laura, I'm so glad you liked it! :)

    Talli, thanks :)

    Carol, thanks so much for your feedback. I appreciate it. I liked that it wasn't clear who they were. I gave them Roman names but left it at that. One thing though: they are NOT vampires!! lol.

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  31. Ann Best, welcome! Thanks so much for the five stars. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

    M Pax, thanks, your feedback means a lot to me.

    Jolene, writing extra scenes that won't be used in the novel is a great idea. You could discover all sorts of things about the characters you may not have thought about before. And, yes, it would be fun. I'll have to give it a go some time.

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  32. GREAT news and a brilliant short story. Loved it. Tried to do the rating thing, but it wouldn't let me. :( Still, I've tried my hand at flash fic and I always go over word count. Maybe I just haven't found the right story.... Congratulations!

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  33. Lynda, for me its hard to restrict myself to a word count of 500 and less. I prefer longer stories and novels. But I am a huge fan of Flash Fiction. Will read your story and get back. Congrats.

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  34. I stay creative by eating ice cream!

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  35. Nice work with the flash fiction. I think it would be a nice way to sharpen skills. I write and read a lot. That is about it. No big secret.

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  36. That's great! Congrats! Flash fiction is a good way to work out some ideas that may develop into longer stories or not. It's a genre that takes discipline!

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  37. Congrats on the ff story. I haven't been over yet but I will. I love writing flash fiction and believe it really helps to learn the craft, especially since I'm verbose.

    Enjoy your Christmas! God bless you and yours!

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  38. For some reason I couldn't access your links on my computer.
    I have not done much flash fiction yet.
    Enjoy your break.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  39. I loved your story! (LOL...it involved cake!) I gave it five stars. Is that how I could "vote" for it?

    See you at the blogest...

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  40. I used to think I couldn't write short stories let alone flash fiction. Blogging has changed all that.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

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  41. Victoria, to rate it I think you have to sign in. Thanks anyways. I appreciate it :)

    Rachna, It is difficult to keep it short. With flash fiction it's almost impossible to have any character development.

    Chris, ice cream (and of course chocolate) are great inspirations for the creative self :)

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  42. Draven, yep, writing and reading a lot is pretty much all it takes.

    Jan, thanks. And yes, it takes take a LOT of discipline.

    Susan, thanks so much

    L'Aussie, yes, and flash fiction is lots of fun to write as well. Merry Christmas to you too!

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  43. Flash fiction - adding to my to-do list! Thank you :D

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  44. Arlee, aw such a shame. I'm in the middle of the break right now and it's been crazy busy. I'm hoping things will calm down next week. It's unlikely though. But I'll be back next week regardless.

    Toyin, thanks

    Sharon, thanks so much for the five stars! :)

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  45. Nancy, blogging is good for that and yes, it does hone our writing skills. :)

    Trisha, I'd love to know how you go

    Alexia, thanks :)

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  46. Hi Linda, thanks for stopping by my blog :) Hope you are enjoying your break!

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  47. Hi again, Just want to thank you for your visit and gracious comment. Have a blessed day!

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  48. Lynda..I read your story and loved it. Hope you will allow me to read it to my students when I teach them the finer points and how to write flash fiction.

    Its really a great piece and I am sure my students will love it.

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  49. Oh wow, Rachna, I'd be honoured. Thank you so much. :)

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  50. just dropping by to clean up the spiderwebs and water your plants while you're not here, Lyndylove :))

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  51. Here I was stopping by to remind you of the blog fest but it appears you were already ready to go! I love it! Can't wait to see what you have planned!

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  52. Dezzy, phew... I was worried about those spiders. *shudder* and my plants were starting to get a tad wilted. ;)

    Jen, How could I forget such a cool blog fest?

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