Archive for October 22nd, 2012

#Flashathon Week: Day One

We’re coming up on the biggest weekend of the year here at Writerly Words, even if I haven’t done that much talking about it. This Saturday is the second annual Flashathon!

For those who are perhaps new to the blog and having gone exploring the Flashathon tab up at the top there, the goal of Flashathon is to be a massive kickstart of creative energy. And that’s it. I do what I can to keep the event as rules-light as possible, so you’ll find the word optional several times in the rest of this post, and to that point I’m even going to bold it every time I use it to drive the point home. So let’s kick into the what’s of Flashathon.

What is Flashathon?

Flashathon is a series of 18 posts to the blog that will go up, one per hour, between 9am eastern time on Saturday morning (October 27) and 3am eastern time on Sunday morning (October 28). Each post will contain a prompt, and the comments will be open for your responses to that prompt. The goal is to participate in as many of these hours as you want or can. If you can make it for one, please join us. Six? Awesome. Twelve? Fantastic. Eighteen? Well…don’t go too crazy. My personal goal is going to be twelve, coinciding with the twelve hours the event ran last year. The number of hours is optional, and any participation in the event is writing getting done. I know Saturdays are tough days, and you have things to do. Come on by when you can.

What are the prompts?

These vary. Last year some prompts were opening sentences, some were single words, some were broad concepts, and one was even a species of flower. While these prompts are intended to spark some creative energy, they are entirely optional to that hour’s writing. If you pull some inspiration from them, that’s great. If you want to pull some inspiration from elsewhere, that’s also great. If you want to go back to a previous hour that had three or four prompts to choose from and use a second one, you should do that.

What should I write?

The broad notion is to write a piece of flash fiction for each hour, which is roughly defined as up to 1000 words. This, however, is optional. I’ll be writing flash fiction, but during last year’s events some participants chose to make an hourly goal of 500 words added to a work in progress. Or to do a certain amount of editing during that period. The real goal is to once an hour sit down and do some positive work on a piece of fiction (though…add 500 words to your nonfiction book, by all means). Some will end the day with 12 flash pieces, some with the openings of 12 longer short stories, some with novels that are a few thousand words longer than when the day started. All are winners.

What should I post?

Last year, several of us were posting our flash stories as we wrote them. Don’t go looking for them, most were taken down by request of the authors so they could be cleaned up and shopped around. One was even successfully sold. So posting what you actually wrote during the hour is, again, optional. But please post something. A general idea of what you wrote (even if just a word count), a thought about how the prompt affected your writing, even just the word “Done!” Just to let everyone know who is participating where and when. This year the event is going to be driven more by online than in-person community.

And now, I’ve got to pre-program some of the prompts so I can “relax” and participate in the event rather than trying to run it and write at the same time.

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