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One thousand words???

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angelagilbert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote angelagilbert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: One thousand words???
    Posted: 15 Jul 2017 at 12:56pm
My first time in the flash fiction, and I'm feeling the pressure of that painfully tiny word limit!!!!  Commiserate with me, fellow writers!!!!!  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hershey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2017 at 12:57pm
Ha! Yeah, not new to flash fiction by any means but typed a whopping 500+ words this morning and was only JUST finished introducing the MC and setting up the important relationships. So...yeah...back to the drawing board. LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote inoreen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2017 at 1:33pm
i had the exact same problem with my challenge 2 story last year--my genre was fantasy and i did WAY too much world-building that ultimately had to be scrapped. it helps me a lot to think of flash fiction pieces less as "stories" and more as "snapshots." otherwise i get a little carried away and butcher the word count limit
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Trond24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2017 at 2:41pm
>>1000 words

200 words in - this is easy

550 words in - I know just what I am gonna do here

850 words in - OK, gotta actually introduce the crisis at some point

1150 words in - sh*t


Edited by Trond24 - 15 Jul 2017 at 2:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LyndaD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2017 at 4:42pm
Originally posted by inoreen inoreen wrote:

i had the exact same problem with my challenge 2 story last year--my genre was fantasy and i did WAY too much world-building that ultimately had to be scrapped. it helps me a lot to think of flash fiction pieces less as "stories" and more as "snapshots." otherwise i get a little carried away and butcher the word count limit

I look at them this way as well.  I also try to limit myself to one or two characters and embed details that will suggest setting and physical descriptions to the reader. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote MattrickBT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2017 at 5:08pm
Granted, I rarely write short stories and mostly write novels, but here are my tips:

1. Don't worry about the word count first draft, just try and keep it to less than 1500 words. Concentrate on the story.

2. Don't waste time introducing characters, writing back story, or useless exposition. Tell the story with images and action.

3. OMIT NEEDLESS WORDS. I made this caps so it stands out. Chances are, your story is at least 10% needless words. You can eliminate 10-15% of your word count by omitting needless words. Often, a simple restructuring of a sentence, or finding one word to take the place of two or three, will parse your story down to a more manageable level without sacrificing any actual content.

We often write very backwards because we're writing the sentence is it occurs to us, which is not the most efficient way for it to be read. For example. Look for redundant qualifiers like 'more' and 'very' which convey little or non-specific information to the adjective and pick a better adjective, so instead of 'very loud' say 'deafening'.

4 - Determine what is necessary and what is unnecessary. Pick your spots for in-depth description, long strings of dialogue, and exposition. If it doesn't convey meaning necessary to character, setting, or story, scrap it. In a novel, nice little bits are essentially, but in a contest such as this, flourishes are a detriment if it adds nothing to the story. Essentially, unless your characters description actually matters enough to tell me their eye colour, hair colour, what they're wearing, how tall they are, leave it out. Absolute bare essentials.

5 - Lastly, keep your story idea small. You're not telling some grandiose story here with a fascinating world and history; you're providing a sliver. Pick a moment, or a short series of moments, and focus on that. Don't be afraid to be abstract, leave the story open to interpretation. You can save many words alluding to things rather than explaining them outright, through images, actions, or dialogue.

6 - Rewrite. Don't just edit, rewrite the whole thing from scratch, sentence by sentence. Read each sentence and then rewrite to maximize efficiency. Also while re-writing, reorganise information throughout the whole story as this too can eliminate redundancies and correct plot holes and incongruities. Editing alone usually lends to people only fixing mistakes, rather than correct deeper-seeded problems like pacing, order of information, and inconsistencies. Sometimes moving something from the end of the story to the middle (or wherever) means you can eliminate this entire 23 word sentence from another part of the story because it's now redundant.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MattrickBT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2017 at 5:12pm
Also, when rewriting, read a sentence, ask yourself if it is essentially to the story; if not, scrap it. Often times you will find a sentence with a kernel of necessity in there, which can easily be amalgamated with another sentence, and you shed yourself of X number of needless words. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fancynancy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2017 at 6:58pm
Make every word count - towards character, scene, emotion, action. Don't waste a moment!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Paul.Ford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2017 at 7:15pm
Originally posted by MattrickBT MattrickBT wrote:



3. OMIT NEEDLESS WORDS. I made this caps so it stands out. Chances are, your story is at least 10% needless words. You can eliminate 10-15% of your word count by omitting needless words. Often, a simple restructuring of a sentence, or finding one word to take the place of two or three, will parse your story down to a more manageable level without sacrificing any actual content.

We often write very backwards because we're writing the sentence is it occurs to us, which is not the most efficient way for it to be read. For example. Look for redundant qualifiers like 'more' and 'very' which convey little or non-specific information to the adjective and pick a better adjective, so instead of 'very loud' say 'deafening'.



This is my favorite thing to do on a 2nd or 3rd revision. It's like a puzzleto solve! Love it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MattrickBT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2017 at 7:21pm
Originally posted by Paul.Ford Paul.Ford wrote:



This is my favorite thing to do on a 2nd or 3rd revision. It's like a puzzleto solve! Love it!


To me, rewriting is where all the fun is! So few people these days (from my own probing) actually truly rewrite anymore...more revisions/editing than anything else. You have the whole picture, and now you have to make it work. It's fun moving chapters around, moving this backstory from spot C to spot G, finetuning how you give the reader information to maximise it's impact...it's quite thrilling. I find first drafts to be less fun because you're really only looking forward.

I just recently sent a novel off to my editor, but I wanted to do my own edit on it first. Just by omitting needless words and a few omissions, I shrunk a 127,000 word novel down to about 124,000, and this was after shrinking it from 134,000, and there's more story in the 124,000 draft than the 134,000 word draft.


Edited by MattrickBT - 15 Jul 2017 at 7:26pm
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