Archive for October 30th, 2012

After Flashathon 2012

Well, I meant to write this post yesterday, but life got in the way in the form of Hurricane Sandy socking the east coast. That’s appropriate, as life getting in the way was something of a theme to this year’s Flashathon preparation. I hope the event didn’t feel nearly as slapped together last minute as it was, but now that we’re over I can admit…yeah, kinda slapped together last minute. That’s what having a baby less than two months before the event gets you. The biggest visible effect of this was fewer prompts from established writers and more of me trying to put together a wide variety of usable prompts. In the end we had one prompt from Bud Sparhawk, one from Matthew Hance, two from Day Al-Mohamed, a double prompt from Linda Adams, two from my wife, and the remaining eleven came from me. So if you didn’t like a particular prompt, there’s a fantastic chance it was my fault.

It’s hard to judge this year over last year. By some metrics the size of the event went up, by some it went down, so overall it was about a draw. I was hoping for some growth over last year, but again, considering the last minute nature of much of the event, this didn’t surprise me. Hopefully next year I can grass-roots this event better and hopefully bring in a few more people. I think Saturday is a sticking point for a lot of people, but I also can’t imagine doing the event on any other day.

That said, there are some elements of the event that may get revisited and revised. For one, I’m tempted to take the focus away from this being entirely a flash fiction event. While I enjoy that element of it, the emphasis on flash fiction (while attempting to stress the voluntary nature) does close the event off to other writers. And especially coming as it does just before Nanowrimo, people preparing for that event may not want to pull themselves away from that story to work on flash fiction.

To that end, I’m considering dual tracks for next year’s Flashathon. One track would be Flashathon Classic, hopefully returning to prompts collected from notable individuals rather than just myself. The second track would be the Nanowrimo Prep Track. As I currently envision it, this track of the event would be an outlining marathon, with different focuses on different hours. For example, one hour could be a character sketch of the protagonist. Another hour could be an overview of the journey and changes the main characters undergo. This is largely something I’m spitballing as I go. From that angle, I’m curious if anyone would be interested in such a side event (which might be hosted here in parallel posts, or on another blog like Unleaded).

Finally, I’d like to thank those people who participated in any or all of this year’s event. I’ve collected out the names of those who posted their participation in comments:

  • Jen Brinn
  • Day Al-Mohamed
  • Linda Adams
  • Dana Gunn

The list is similar to last year’s, but I’m glad that means people had enough fun that they came back.

So, take some deep breaths. Job well done. Let me know about the separate outlining track. And let me know if there are ways that I can make the event better for you in the future. Prompts you liked, prompts you hated, all that fun stuff. Leave a comment!

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