Tag Archive | dragon

Flash! Friday: Vol 3 – 52

We’re here at last: the very end of Year Three — the last regular Flash! Friday contest ever, and the final contest before our Flashversary finale — and what a year it’s been! Twenty-one novel-inspired prompts. A couple dozen rounds of photo & story element prompts. Loads of Spotlight interviews with writers and writing-related professionals across industries and around the world. I’ve loved every minute of Flash! Friday’s Year Three! Y’all are breathtakingly fab, y’know?

And speaking of fab: congratulations to all of you who participated in NaNoWriMo this year, and particularly to those who completed the wordy challenge. Are any of you still awake? Brains still powered on? Hope you’ve saved a few words for us today. 🙂

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Finishing Up Flash! Friday:

  • Tomorrow’s the last-ever Flash Dash: join us Saturday, December 5, at 11:30am Washington, DC time (check the clock here!): you’ll have thirty minutes exactly to read the prompt & post your story! Cash prize for the winner. Yes, this one will get your writerly heart pumping for sure.
  • Want any FF mugs or other souvenirs? The Dragon Emporium will stay open through December 31.
  • Join us next week for our final Flashversary contest! There’ll be a simple, single-round contest, and tons of prizes, from books to posters and all the glitz. We’ll also be drawing for the #RingofFire winner (be sure to check the Wall of Flame to make sure it’s current for you!). 

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DC2Today marks a triple farewell in a sense: the final chance to win a Flash! Friday winner’s badge, the conclusion of our second term of Year Three judges, and the final round commanded by Dragon Team Eight, Voima Oy & A.J. Walker. Be sure to read their judge bios one last time (just click on their names) to see how to maximize your chances at that trophy! 

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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 enterPost your story here in the comments. Be sure to include your word count (min 140, max 160 words, excluding title/byline) and Twitter handle if you’ve got one. 

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 YEAR TWO NOSTALGIA PROMPT:

Stepping back in time! Flash! Friday’s Year Two featured prompts including a photo (as always) and the gorgeous Dragon’s Bidding (designed by the even more gorgeous Susan Warren Utley of Haunted Waters Press), which required the inclusion of a particular element in your story. So in a joyful nod to Year Two, here we go again! You’ll need to include the Dragon’s Bidding AND the photo in your story.

1) DRAGON’S BIDDING (required element to include in your story. Note: think outside of the box…)

dragon

 

2) REQUIRED PHOTO PROMPT (include this photo in some way in your story):

"Her Story Written in Disappearing Ink." CC2.0 photo by Michael Shaheen.

“Her Story Written in Disappearing Ink.” CC2.0 photo by Michael Shaheen.

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Pyromaniacs 8

Welcome to the 8th episode of #Pyro! The rules are short and easy: your job is to read this story and critique it! Please remember our purpose is to HELP the writer, so (1) focus your comments on the story, not the writer; (2) try to address story elements specifically (WHAT works/doesn’t work, and WHY/HOW); (3) be honest but kind (imagine someone is giving you this feedback). Ad hominem or mean-spirited comments will be deleted. And now, here’s a story for your reading & critiquing pleasure, with many thanks to the writer who courageously volunteered it.

Encendador. CC2.0 photo by Villegas Lillo.

Encendador. CC2.0 photo by Villegas Lillo.

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Written by One of You 🙂

“Sell it.” Memaw Marilyn’s lavender eyebrow told us she wasn’t playing. That was hardly necessary; she never played. “For good this time. It’s a thing of excess.” Things of excess were worse than things of sentiment.

Tailfins twinkling, Pawpaw’s mint cream Chevy Bel Air sat beneath the elm tree. I peered into the back seat and found a tie crumpled on the leather.

“And you, young lady,” – Memaw’s eyes, a practical grey, pegged me—“need a more ladylike hobby than fussing over vehicles. Have you done anything with that cross stitch set I got you for Christmas?”

I chewed the sounds so I could give an honest answer and still avoid the whuppin, “Hmfmmfnahma’am.”

“When I was your age, I could cook, clean, and sew better than most women.”

Nine-year-old Memaw had wrinkles deep as canyons, I was sure.

“Anyway, it’s got to go. To an out-of-stater, this time.”

“Lot of good that’ll do,” Pawpaw Sonny mumbled under tobacco breath. He pulled a cowboy boot, half-singed, half-soaked, out of the fender.

“What’s that?”

“Nothing, Dear.”

Yesterday, he’d sold it to a mustachioed gentleman from Texas – a full two states over and down – with the same results. He knew better than to argue with a teacher, though.

“Frankie, check the glove compartment.”

“Frances!” Memaw threw her hands to the sky. “Lordy, Sonny, if you keep calling her a boy’s name, she’ll keep actin’ like one.”

She stomped toward the house while I slipped into the front seat and opened the box. Clean and unsigned, the title lay tucked inside the manual.  Pawpaw took it.

“What I can’t understand is why they don’t never ask for a refund,” he said, and then kick dust all the way to the barn.

I would’ve told him but he never could hide anything from Memaw. And if a car was a thing of excess, a dragon had to be a sin.

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QUESTIONS you may wish to address: 

  1. Does the first line catch your interest?
  2. How is pacing — does the story move smoothly from beginning to end?
  3. Does the dialogue sound realistic/natural? (If not, which lines?)
  4. Are the characters developed effectively within the confines of this piece? Are they realistic? Sympathetic/resonant?
  5. Is point-of-view clear and consistent? Is the voice unique, interesting, compelling? 
  6. Is the story mostly free of grammatical/punctuation errors?
  7. Is the plot clear and believable? Are there any plot holes that need to be addressed?
  8. Does the story follow the rules of its genre? If not, were the rules broken well?
  9. Is language used well: does the story rely on cliches and too-common devices, or does the story contain striking imagery, colorful and vibrant descriptions, powerful metaphors?
  10. Does the last line effectively conclude the story?

Flash! Friday: Vol 3 – 3

MERRY CHRISTMAS to those of you who celebrate it, and WELCOME, WELCOME, one and all, to another round of Flash! Friday! We may be suffering pumpkin pie hangovers (yes, I said “we”; there’s no way I’m alone in my affection for all things Pumpkin (er, right?). [[Last week I made a pumpkin soup with undertones of cumin and ginger, ohhhhh so good I melted in a little puddle of pumpkinyumminess]]), but writing Must Go On. Well, perhaps not must. But it does, whether we wish it or no. The words keeping coming and coming and COMING, and we’ve got to put them somewhere, or die.

Perhaps it is must after all?

(Raise your hand if you’re addicted to flash fiction……)

(Raise your other hand if you’re addicted to pumpkin.)

(Raise both hands if you have a brilliant pumpkin recipe that Needs Sharing. And then tweet it to me at @FlashFridayFic AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.)

(Now I’m feeling inspired. One of these days we should do a Foodie Friday in which we submit favorite recipes, and we’ll have celebrity chefs in as judges. Wouldn’t that be a kick, eh?!)

(My favorites are pumpkin curry, pumpkin soup, pumpkin chili, pumpkin-sausage risotto, pumpkin lattes, and OH MY WORD does it get any better than pumpkin ravioli.)

(No, I’ve not been in the eggnog. Why do you ask?)

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Our fourth team of new Dragon Captains (oh, picky, picky. Yes, we’ve swapped — you’ll see Team Three next week) consists of familiar and beloved writer Sinéad O’Hart and returning judge (returning!? now that’s a courageous dragon heart) Pratibha Kelapure. Be sure to read their bios and their judging philosophies to give you a better idea of the kinds of things they look for in winning entries. Plus, reading their bios is just plain fun and a wee bit nosy.  

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Awards Ceremony: Results will post Tuesday this week. Noteworthy #SixtySeconds interviews with the previous week’s winner post Wednesdays (Thursday this round).  I (Rebekah) post my own unbalanced writings sometimes on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

Now, fetch yourself something pumpkin, send an SOS to your favorite knight (THREE dragons attacking today!), and write a story based on the photo below.

* Word count: Write a 150-word story (10-word leeway on either side) based on the photo prompt.

HowPost your story here in the comments. Include your word count (140 – 160 words, excluding title) and Twitter handle if you’ve got one. If you’re new, don’t forget 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 Wednesday, and your name flame-written on the Dragon Wall of Fame for posterity.

—NO DRAGON’S BIDDING—WRITE A STORY BASED ON THE PHOTO ALONE—

Edmonton Chinese New Year. CC photo by IQRemix.

Edmonton Chinese New Year. CC photo by IQRemix.