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One thousand words???

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annelindleyk View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote annelindleyk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2017 at 9:24am
This is my second year in the contest. The first time, my problem was that I got an idea for a story without knowing how much story would fit in 1000 words. Last year, my first draft was closer to 3000 words. I was able to cut the story to 1000 but it sounded like a longer story that had been butchered (which it was).

This year I tried something new. I pictured my story idea in five sections. (Intro, problems one, two, and three, outro). Then I worked on each section, mindful of a word count as I went along. Each section needed to be about 200 words.

For the final draft, I tinkered with the arc of the story, adjusting the rhythms and pacing to tell the story effectively. Some sections ended up above 200 and some sections were below 200, depending on what I needed to do to keep the story moving.

I found this a much more sane way to proceed. I had a decent 1200 word story by midday Sunday. I cut the excess by Omitting Needless Words and saying things once instead of twice.

Edited by annelindleyk - 17 Jul 2017 at 9:29am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alexis_H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2017 at 9:30am
Originally posted by annelindleyk annelindleyk wrote:

saying things once instead of twice.

Husband did point out that my character had discovered she was naked and then I highlighted it again 2 lines down. I told him "it seemed quite important to her plight and therefore worth repeating".

He rolls his eyes a lot. LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hershey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2017 at 9:32am
Originally posted by Cowyoga Cowyoga wrote:

Originally posted by MattrickBT MattrickBT wrote:

Yeah, but why would a creek need a backstory, ever? It's a creek. Seem like unnecessary exposition to me no matter the project. Just wondering what the thought process is behind such a choice.  Do you read a lot of Tolkien who would ramble about a hill for six pages?


Here lies a question that will remain unanswered, another casualty of word count.

LOL

Your responses are making this back and forth delightful to read. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vernacula Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2017 at 9:35am
Originally posted by Cowyoga Cowyoga wrote:


I, for one, have to get back to writing the exquisite details of a stately old oak tree that personifies (somewhat inexplicably, but I'll make it work) the indignity of the standard gynecological exam.


LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Vernacula Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2017 at 9:42am
Originally posted by Hershey Hershey wrote:

Originally posted by Cowyoga Cowyoga wrote:



Here lies a question that will remain unanswered, another casualty of word count.

LOL

Your responses are making this back and forth delightful to read. 


Cowyoga is my new spirit animal. I've already written 5,000 words about how this thread makes me feel.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AnastasiaW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2017 at 10:00am
I think I solved the flash fiction word count conundrum this time (although I wouldn't recommend my method). I was driving from Sydney to Melbourne. Two straight days driving.
When I got the prompt I thought about context and setting for a few hours and then picked some suitable characters (no more than two) and a loose theme. With this I wrote a sharp few opening paragraphs 150 words that night.
I then drove for a day thought. Got exhausted. Forgot I was doing the competition. Arrived home, got drunk, remembered, panicked. I thought up my major plot points before bed.
Next morning wrote the story in two hours. Only 30 words over. Edited it in two. Submitted.
So planning and thinking and sleeping - short writing time - few extra words. Ta da!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Cowyoga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2017 at 11:13am
Originally posted by Vernacula Vernacula wrote:

Originally posted by Hershey Hershey wrote:

Originally posted by Cowyoga Cowyoga wrote:



Here lies a question that will remain unanswered, another casualty of word count.

LOL

Your responses are making this back and forth delightful to read. 


Cowyoga is my new spirit animal. I've already written 5,000 words about how this thread makes me feel.

If half of them aren't about a sentient creek you're doing it wrong. 
FFC Ch2 Gr63 Not in My Back Yard
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2017 at 11:46am
Newbie to flash fiction here too. After editing and rewriting and thinking the story was as short as it could possibly be, it had 1600 words. I cut it down and got it under the word count, but I have no idea if it even makes sense anymore. I felt like everything I cut out was necessary to the story, so it was definitely a challenge. I got it done and turned in though, which is a better result than I expected when I saw the assignment lol. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Schrifty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2017 at 11:49am
Originally posted by annelindleyk annelindleyk wrote:



This year I tried something new. I pictured my story idea in five sections. (Intro, problems one, two, and three, outro). Then I worked on each section, mindful of a word count as I went along. Each section needed to be about 200 words.

 


That's very close to my method.  I love hearing about how everyone does it but I find that I have a much more relaxing weekend if I watch my word count like a hawk and revise before I get too far off the plot rails.

I allow myself 300 words each for opening scene, middle, and ending, knowing that I'm going to need to adjust as I go.  But I know that if I let my characters talk for awhile and their scene starts getting close to 300 it's time to cut tangents and force them to get back on topic. 

If I had more than 48 hours I might let my mind wander (and I totally want to try Cowyoga's strategy for some of my longer projects) but keeping a tight hold on it this time around saved my sanity in a big way.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nod1v1ng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2017 at 11:58am
Originally posted by Cowyoga Cowyoga wrote:

Originally posted by Vernacula Vernacula wrote:

Originally posted by Hershey Hershey wrote:

Originally posted by Cowyoga Cowyoga wrote:



Here lies a question that will remain unanswered, another casualty of word count.

LOL

Your responses are making this back and forth delightful to read. 


Cowyoga is my new spirit animal. I've already written 5,000 words about how this thread makes me feel.

If half of them aren't about a sentient creek you're doing it wrong. 

Someday the Flash Fiction Gods will saddle me with a comedy... and I shall remember this lovely repartee. LOL
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