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Waiting & Master Lists & Tips

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ChillyToez View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChillyToez Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2019 at 6:49pm
Originally posted by MikeBham MikeBham wrote:

You wrote a story, and it needs to be read.


I love this sentiment! 
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hanalyst View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote hanalyst Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2019 at 7:14pm
1. Make sure you not only stick within the word count, but use the required formatting. No point in getting docked unnecessarily.

2. Lock down your betas early if possible (but not before the prompts go out, to avoid beta-ing any groupmates)--it's totally fine to ask someone about reading your story before you're ready to send it, and you can also find out what time slot(s) in the 48hrs that person has available and plan accordingly. I personally will sometimes step away from my unfinished story to give notes on someone else's when I have writer's block.

3. Don't break the genre rules, but don't be afraid to stretch them a bit. Your judges are getting dozens of takes on the same prompts, and something that's a little out of left field will make you stand out easier than just trying to write the obvious thing THE BEST. (Exceptions being prompt combinations with NO easy connection, of course. Then just hang on for dear life.)

4. Try to approach forum comments on stories as a compliment sandwich (liked this/would change this/overall thanks for sharing). We're all here to encourage each other (this sh*t is HARD, after all), but if it's all flattery and no suggestions for improvement, there's no growth.


Edited by hanalyst - 11 Jul 2019 at 7:17pm
FFC R1G27: Fall of the Angels
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote leslieksf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2019 at 7:20pm
Thanks Steph and ChillyToez for doing the master lists this time around!

This is my 4th time in FFC, and hands down the most valuable things to me have been getting feedback in this forum on my writing AND also on how to give valuable/constructive feedback to others. 

I guess my advice would be as a few others have said. highlighting the following
  • create a rough schedule or brainstorming, writing, beta reading, and so forth 
  • definitely read through the genre descriptions as stated in the rules prior to Friday night (I know this has been said, but reading these always helps me, especially with genres I dread getting.)
In terms of genres:

Genre I've gotten the most: Drama  (ARGH!!!!!)
Genre I was dreading and finally got: Historical Fiction
Genres I don't care to ever get again: drama, romance
Genres I have not gotten but want to: Horror, suspense

Have fun everyone!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote charleycheval Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2019 at 12:58am
I 100% agree with submitting whatever you have written, even if you hate it. I got stuck in a genre I had never done and had no interest in and wrote it in two hours, submitting minutes before the deadline and ended up with an honourable mention. You just never know! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Mumser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2019 at 9:11am
We all have our own ways of interpreting prompts and getting our stories written. So all I’m going to say is write your face off, have fun, and participate in the forum as much as you can. Good luck everyone!
FF2019-R1 Writing on Tenement Halls
SSC2019-R2 The Wrath of Vulcan
SSC2019-R1 The Peace Pageant

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maddoris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2019 at 8:57pm
Originally posted by MikeBham MikeBham wrote:

This is my second Flash Fiction (and I had a stab at the Short Story as well).

By far and away the best writing experience I've had - and all thanks to these lovely people on the forum.

So, a few suggestions:

1 - ask questions. The forum is full of friendly and helpful types
2 - read the brief carefully
3 - they really mean it about the word count limit
4 - Once the confirmations have been issued (usually about Tues/Wed next week) then SHARE YOUR STORY

Why? Because we all love reading stories, and because the comments, feedback, suggestions and criticism from your fellow writers are far more valuable than the judges' comments that you will eventually receive.

5 - Once you have shared your story, read lots of the other ones, and leave feedback.

Oh yeah - and always always submit and share your entry. Even if you don't like it. Even if you did the whole thing in a terrible rush at the last minute. Even if you think it is terrible. You wrote a story, and it needs to be read. You never know - everyone else might just love it!

Good luck!





Everything that Mike said - especially about making the most of the forums, and the talented and generous people who participate on them.  The feedback, support, and encouragement you can give and get is what really makes the experience valuable.

Case in point: I was lucky enough to be in the same group as Mike last year (both of us were first timers) so we shared our triumphs over the wack-a-doodle prompts (taxidermy shops and suction cups) and the terrifying prospect of writing comedy.  

Super excited to see that you're back, Mike! Can't wait to read your stories again!

mad.
FFC2019 CH1 Dirty Laundry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChillyToez Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2019 at 9:08pm
Originally posted by Maddoris Maddoris wrote:

wack-a-doodle prompts (taxidermy shops and suction cups)

Holy wack-a-mole! I think I’ll just pour another glass and pretend I never saw that train wreck of a prompt possibility...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Trond24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2019 at 9:36pm
Echoing a thanks for taking on the Master Lists.

Three nuances:

1) Reread the emails we get in their entirety at the prompt drop. Fourth year and I always am surprised at a minor change or something I never saw before.

2) There are free word counters and grammar checkers online. Use them!

3) Try to submit at least a half-hour early. The servers get BUSY at the drop-dead hour. And, you've probably forgotten something: font, synopsis, etc.

:-)
GL, all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ottersdaughter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2019 at 10:56pm
Originally posted by ChillyToez ChillyToez wrote:

Heeeellllooooo Writers!

While Short Story-ers are anxiously awaiting results, and Flash Fiction-iers begin praying to the Prompt Gods, I just wanted to say a quick hello!



The lovely Steph9289 and I will be sharing Master List duties for Flash Fiction 2019. (Oh, what have I gotten myself into? Please be kind! LOL )

I saw quite a few people mentioning on other posts this was their first time participating (I expect in a competition of this size, there are always new folks!) So I thought that to pass the time, some of the regulars might like to share their tips or favorite things about the competition? Which genres do you love/hate? What's your process? What are your biggest Dos & Don'ts? Ya know, to hype folks up and/or calm the nerves?  

Thank you so much for taking on master list duty! 

These things may have been said, but if so, I'll say them again.

Good beta readers are absolute GOLD. It is possible to do well with a piece that no one but you looks at, but it's much, much less likely in my experience.

The forum reviews are where you'll get the most benefit, and it's possible to benefit a ton from the peer reviewing process. Be prepared to sink some time into it to get the most out of it.

ExclamationExclamationExclamation I am told we may not be able to serially resubmit this year - I'm rereading the agreement and maybe getting clarification...
ETA, in case no one else has mentioned it: You can submit and resubmit as many times as you like before the deadline. I am paranoid after a wonky wifi connection at an AirBnB one year, so I start submitting as soon as I have a complete draft that's under word count. Then I resubmit every revision.


Edited by ottersdaughter - 12 Jul 2019 at 11:45pm
FF#1: Made with Magic (Horror)

2017 ShSc HM
2016 FFC & ShSc Finalist
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote nixie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2019 at 11:33pm
HeartHeart to you two for taking on the List. I am so looking forward to having time to *read again this year <hug>

To the Newbies:
1. Forget the contest. The BEST value of this joint is that it is the most helpful writers workshop you will ever get for fifty bucks. The judges are unpredictable and sometimes incomprehensible but the *writers are an awesome resource and network.

2. RTFM. Formatting, genre. One of the skills a writer needs to succeed is the ability to read the submission guidelines. Editors hate it when you ignore them. Practice here by reading the contest agreement, reading the genre definitions, and following the rules. (p.s. that includes posting conversations in *this forum and stories in the *contest forum :) )

3. Post your story. Even if you hate it. Even if you feel 'inferior." Feedback from people who understand what it takes to write to those prompts in this situation will make you better, as a writer, and less 'inferior' in your own mind.

4. Take the criticism as a gift. If someone totally hated your story - meh. But if they tell you *why they hated it, they are telling you the places to look to broaden your audience. 

5. It's OK to ask questions.  These forums are a friendly space.  Everyone was new here once. Ask a relevant question, no matter how silly it feels, and you'll get a useful answer..

6. It's OK to ask questions.  The general rule for writers is 'never respond to the reviews.' The comments here are not reviews. It's OK to 'engage' with writers who take the time to offer you feedback.  ("Engage" = "digging a little to better understand their meaning," "explaining what you were trying for and asking them how you missed that mark for them, or how it seemed different to them" Constructive convos. Arguing with a review/crit for the purpose of insisting you are right is obnoxious.  Bouncing the ball back and forth til you understand *why something didn't land the way you intended is 'learning.' We do that here.)

7. beta readers. If you aren't familiar with the idea - you are missing out on one of the best tools a writer can have. There's a spreadsheet. volunteer and find volunteers. what you turn in will be better. guaranteed.

8. Crit. Offer your opinion. You may feel uncertain about whether you 'know how' or 'have something to offer.' That's OK.  Read stories, then read the crits for them - you may find that someone else was able to articulate something you 'felt but didn't know how to say.' Well - now you know how to say it. (it's ok to 'echo' on the comments. "Bob337 explained my reaction to the carousel perfectly." it's ok that you're not offering something 'unique' - you're still telling the writer that 'more than one person felt this way'. As we try to sift through conflicting feedback, that helps us understand who the 'majority' is.)  The more you read, the more you try, the better you will get at it.  Til then, it's OK to say "I really liked this story" - but if you don't feel you can crit, then please try to keep going. "I liked this story BECAUSE...." talk about the character, the plot, or the description that made you like it. It's more useful to the writer than "I liked the story." It's more useful to you - because it will force you to think about *why you liked it - and learning to articulate that = learning to parse it out in your brain.  The better you can crit others, the better you can crit yourself, and use the crits you get.

9. Ignore every post about "what genre do you want/fear" and don't let it get you worked up. There are only two genres here: ones you know and are comfortable with (which are not a problem) and ones you don't know and will have a chance to dabble in (which are an opportunity to learn, to expand your skills as a writer, and to experiment with your writing). There is no such thing as a 'bad' genre. (Best story I ever wrote here is a genre I have never written in before or since - and I probably should). 

This is not a contest that you enter to "win" - all that contest nonsense is just a side gig.  You "win" by coming here, engaging with other writers, and using that engagement to make yourself and them better at the craft. Put your energy into that, and you can't lose.


Edited by nixie - 12 Jul 2019 at 11:37pm
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