Archive for October 26th, 2012

Flashathon Week Day #5

As we sit here on Flashathon Eve, under 24 hours until the first prompt posts, I’d like to take a break from pre-scheduling tomorrow’s posts to answer a question that I sometimes get about the event.

For God’s sake…why?

Why would we subject ourselves to such utter insanity, to a day of frying our brains writing 4000-8000 unconnected words, jumping from idea to idea, trying to form coherent sentences long after any spark of creativity has drained out of out brains? And then why, after doing that last year…would we do it again this year?

Holy crap, just why?

The primary intention behind Flashathon is not to rub ourselves down to a nub like an over sharpened pencil. Instead, it’s to force us to move outside of our comfort zones as writers and to embrace the sort of manic creativity that comes out of forcing your fingers to just keep moving. I don’t pretend everything I wrote last year is good, and I don’t expect everything I write this year to be good. But there were some nuggets of good that came out of last year, stories that I still want to go back and tell. I’m still sitting on a story about creatures that appear in the middle of the desert and are collected by a dark branch of the government.

There’s a frenetic excitement about not knowing what you’re writing next. At least for me there is. I understand it’s not for everyone, and I do tend to fall back on outlines for longer works, but I’ll have ideas and write stories I never knew I had in me if writing with a quick prompt and nothing in my mind except crazed desperation.

In the end you’ll have chunks. Bits and pieces. Openings, middles, outlines, extensions. Things that didn’t exist before. Some of them won’t be worth exploring, but for all the chaff, there will hopefully be some wheat. And that’s why I do it, to find the wheat that I didn’t even know was there.

So join us tomorrow. Have fun. Make wheat. And write like your life depended on it.

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