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Does writing flash make you a better writer?

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GGreen View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GGreen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Does writing flash make you a better writer?
    Posted: 16 Nov 2018 at 4:26pm
What's your experience? Does writing flash improve your writing beyond flash? If so, in what way?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lexiconundrum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2018 at 4:46pm
what an interesting question! I haven't done much creative writing since college (was a journalist for a bit, then took a different career path), so completing  short stories is still pretty new to me (vs starting and then giving up). One benefit I've noticed is that writing flash gives me a chance to play around with ideas to see if they fizzle out or if I want to spend more time with them. For example,  my round 1 story wasn't ideal as a flash piece, but I loved the characters so much that I might try to get a novella out of it. My round 3 piece, despite its many flaws, is my favorite piece yet, but even as I was writing it I knew the idea could never hold up a longer story on its own. So I guess for me it's been about playing with different ideas and seeing what I gets me interested enough to want to write more 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote claviercat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2018 at 6:08pm
I think it definitely makes me a tighter editor of my own work! I always go way over the word limits and end up having to cut all sorts of unnecessary words. Applying the same to my "regular" writing is usually a good thing!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WriterByNight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2018 at 6:12pm
Absolutely. Writing short form is a great way to learn that every word counts. It’s also an opportunity to make sure you can arrive at an ending, and an opportunity to break bad habits. My novel is much improved by my flash habit :) 

Edited by WriterByNight - 16 Nov 2018 at 10:17pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote manifestlynot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2018 at 6:34pm
Yes! I murdered almost all of my darlings in this round. I am anticipating a backlash in the SSC in January - 2500 words feels positively extravagant!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zelda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2018 at 6:43pm
These competitions inspire me to write about topics and characters, items and genres, etc., that I'd never choose to write about otherwise. I love that aspect of it. (And I'd never encountered flash fiction before I stumbled onto this site, so it's hard to answer your question in a straight sense.) My creativity always gets a jolt when I get the new assignments. Star

Different people could take different things from it--it's a harder challenge if you have no clue whether you'll rise to the occasion (i.e., if you're a newbie). And many people benefit from the deadline, which nips procrastination attempts in the bud. (That's the exact reason why I do NaNoWriMo--the ultimate procrastinator's challenge.) < x="0" y="0" width="99999" height="99999" id="hc_extension_off">< x="0" y="0" width="99999" height="99999" id="hc_extension_highcontrast">< x="0" y="0" width="99999" height="99999" id="hc_extension_highcontrast_back">< x="0" y="0" width="99999" height="99999" id="hc_extension_grayscale">< x="0" y="0" width="99999" height="99999" id="hc_extension_grayscale_back">< x="0" y="0" width="99999" height="99999" id="hc_extension_invert">< x="0" y="0" width="99999" height="99999" id="hc_extension_invert_back">< x="0" y="0" width="99999" height="99999" id="hc_extension_invert_grayscale">< x="0" y="0" width="99999" height="99999" id="hc_extension_yellow_on_black">< x="0" y="0" width="99999" height="99999" id="hc_extension_yellow_on_black_back">

I think the fun thing about writing flash fiction is that you can create a one-scene wonder that stands on its own. No huger project required. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chrissie0707 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2018 at 7:15pm
Oh, I definitely think so. I work best under a strict deadline as it is, and such a small window of time with which to brainstorm, draft, and edit a complete story is such a thrill and exercise in the discipline of writing. In a non-technical sense, I hadn't really written anything at all of ORIGINAL work before entering in these competitions, so it's been so fun to use the prompts and the time limit and word limit to push myself into creating my own characters and scenarios. If nothing else, it's strengthened my confidence in my writing, and I'm definitely seeing the positives of that seep into my other writing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lisafox10800 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2018 at 7:36pm
I hadn't written creatively for almost two decades before stumbling on NYCM in 2016. Years back, I was more of a poet than a fiction writer, so writing "stories" is still kind of new to me. Flash was a great way to get back into the creative saddle, and also to try my hand at fiction. Longer pieces scare the daylights out of me, but I've managed to convert a few of my former Flash pieces to longer works. 

For me, it just got me back into writing and dipping my toe into fiction. So really learning the craft and exploring options, telling a story concisely, showing not telling, all of that stuff. When I eventually break through the fear of writing a novel (and honestly, when I find time to devote to it), I feel like I'll have a huge bucket of tools to work with. 

I feel like my sweet spot, though, is about 2500 words. Flash is fun but it's HARD, especially when you're doing things like worldbuilding!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chrissie0707 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2018 at 7:43pm
Flash has also helped me with editing, and pinpointing the words that just aren't necessary.

Edited by chrissie0707 - 16 Nov 2018 at 7:43pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GGreen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Nov 2018 at 2:11am
It's great to see all of these thoughts. I asked because I was thinking about how much I've learned here. Bu I think a big part of why I'm learning is the quick feedback loop here; that has helped me learn the most.
Debating whether to do the SSC too...
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