Happy Friday! Always a pleasure, each week. And the awesome thing about this community and your stories is that each week it’s brand new all over again: fresh stories, fresh ideas, lots of fresh tears to be wept and laughs to be, er, laughtered. Thank you so much for sharing your time and talents here.
Lots of stuff coming up: we’ve got more Spotlight interviews in the wings that you’re going to love. But first up: starting THIS SATURDAY!?!?!? it’s our very first #Pyro feature. Whazzat? It’s where we throw up one of your lovely flash pieces (<500 words, submit them here) which will be anonymized and then critiqued by the community! We’re doing this cuz:
- Hey, free critique!! Are your endings weaker than your openings? Do you struggle with plot inconsistencies, or realistic dialogue? This is a great way to pinpoint some of those problem areas & get help in attacking them. All critiquing comments will be done honestly — but also respectfully. No name-calling allowed! 🙂
- Crit skills: it can be tough critiquing a story honestly; #Pyro will be a great place to hone those critiquing skills. I’ll have a list of suggested topics/categories to address, and together we’ll walk through the story — where it’s strong, and where it can be improved.
- Critiquing is something we as writers need to not only get used to, but we also need to learn from. We need to not fear it, but embrace it. #Pyro will give you the chance to do that, and since it’s done anonymously, you can embrace it without anyone knowing. Shoot, you could even crit your own piece if you wanted, I spose!
So please!!!! submit your stories here. #Pyro will only work if people participate; otherwise it’s just another crazy idea bellyflopping. Which, hey, is ok, no hard feelings. ♥ But I think it sounds like a riot, and I hope you’re game too. Love to have you!
Speaking of troublemakers (we were, right??) today it’s Dragon Team Five back on judge duty: Foy “Mean Guacamole” Iver and Holly Geely. They’re a fabulously interesting pair: funny, edgy, witty, compelling, innovative… And that’s the kind of writing they like, too. “Sear [your story] to my memory,” says Foy-of-the-Depths. “Yeah, that memory thing sounds cool,” says Holly, “and how’s about a kick-tail punchline while you’re at it?” -“Write what no one else is writing. Haunt me,” says Foy. “Okay, me too,” says Holly, “and by the way, have you got any dragons or elves crammed in that magical pen of yours?”
Awards Ceremony: Results will post Monday. Noteworthy #SixtySeconds interviews with the previous week’s winner post Thursdays.
* Today’s required word count: 150 words +/- 10 (140 – 160 words, not counting title/byline).
* How to enter: Post your story here in the comments. Be sure to include your word count (min 140, max 160 words, excluding title/byline), the two story elements you based your story on, and Twitter handle if you’ve got one. If you’re new or forgetful, be sure to check the contest guidelines.
* Deadline: 11:59pm ET tonight (check the world clock if you need to; Flash! Friday is on Washington, DC time)
* Winners: will post Monday.
* Prize: The Flash! Friday e-dragon e-badge for your blog/wall, your own winner’s page here at FF, a 60-second interview next Thursday, and your name flame-written on the Dragon Wall of Fame for posterity.
AND HERE IS YOUR NOVEL PROMPT:
Last week was tough, I’ll admit it. So this round we’re taking the prompt to the opposite side of the pendulum swing: Douglas Adams’ wacky scifi classic, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in which the rather ordinary but not overly eager to be annihilated human Arthur Dent is swept away on galactic adventures.
Story elements (base your story on any TWO of these elements; be sure to tell us which two you chose. Reminder: please remember the Flash! Friday guidelines with regard to content; and remember please do not use copyrighted characters).
* Conflict: man v man (not gender or species specific)
* Character (choose at least one): an ordinary person swept away on an epic adventure; a depressed robot; the worst poet in the universe; a charismatic hedonistic narcissist; a professional hitchhiker
* Theme (choose one): satire, foolishness, science, adventure, miscommunication
* Setting (choose one): a house about to be bulldozed; a spaceship; an odd restaurant
OPTIONAL PHOTO PROMPT (for inspiration only; it is NOT REQUIRED for your story):