Flashathon 2: Electric Boogaloo


Today is July 18th. Well, actually today is July 17th because I wrote this post yesterday, but I posted it today, which is actually tomorrow, July 18th, and let’s just start this whole thing over because it’s already confusing and off-subject.

Today is July 18th. Which means we’re only three short months from the key central day on this blog: FLASHATHON! Since it’s never too early to bring it up, and I probably should have done so already, I thought I’d take this opportunity to (a) say that yes, we are doing it again this year (b) explain what it is for those who don’t know and (c) explain what’s going to change this year for those who participated last year.

I feel like (a) is already handled, so let’s get into (b).  What is Flashathon?

Flashathon is a yearly flash-fiction writing marathon of insanity. The origins of the event date back to about this time last year when I mentioned on Twitter that it would be interesting to do such a marathon, in the spirit of folks who do blogathons and the like. The problem with saying things on Twitter is that, even though I don’t have a lot of followers, I do have some. Particularly one Day Al-Mohamed, co-owner and operator of my blog-away-from-home Unleaded and fellow Cat Vacuumer. She saw that tweet and thought it a brilliant idea. From there we gathered prompts from Capclave panelists, friends, and each other, and the first Flashathon was born.

It was a small event, most participants crowded into my living room, but it was a lot of creative insanity. Since them, I’m aware of at least one story that started in Flashathon being sold. For actual money. Which is awesome.

Last year the event consisted of twelve prompts, one posted each hour. The prompts, however, are entirely voluntary. Some folks wrote from them, some folks wrote their own flash-fiction pieces, some focused on adding a given amount to their work-in-progress during the hour. The focus of the event isn’t rules. It’s creativity.

So what’s changing?

First, the date. Last year we did it the Saturday immediately following Capclave. This year I was asked by another Unleaded member if we could push it back one week so that she could better participate along with the students of a class she teaches. So we’re going to do it October 27th this year.

Second, the length. Last year the event ran for 12 hours. This year it will run for 18. However, the goal will still be to participate for 12 hours. This is largely because the noon-midnight time period left a lot of us feeling burned out around 10:30. Running it longer lets participant pick and choose their 12 hours. We’ll start at 9am Eastern and run until 3am, aka midnight on the west coast. 12 hours, whether consecutive or spread out, will still be the goal. Day is already pushing me for an “overachievers” accomplishment, but I’m hesitant.

Otherwise, the event remains what it was: rules light and creativity heavy. I hope this year the event gets bigger and better than it was last year.

  1. avatar

    #1 by Jeff Xilon on July 18, 2012 - 1:17 pm

    This is fascinating sounding. Also, exciting. I’m already trying to do the math in my head to figure out how I could work participating with the major time difference factor. I probably couldn’t possibly do 12 hours straight because that would mean writing literally all night and I don’t see that working. I could probably do the first 4 hours and the last 8 hours and sleep through the middle six.

    I’ll be keeping an eye on this, that’s for sure. So the idea then is to write 1 story an hour?

    • avatar

      #2 by DLThurston on July 18, 2012 - 1:32 pm

      Idea is a story an hour, yes, though some use the time for other purposes. Hadn’t considered that we might get participation from outside of the US when setting hours.

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