I'm using Holly Lisle's free flash fiction course together with Doreen Virtue's Angel Tarot cards (for the visual and verbal writing prompts). The flash fiction course does not require the cards to create story ideas, it's just something I wanted to try. The two tools together gave me some exciting ideas and I'm very happy with what I've written so far.
The course splits up the 500-word short into three sections. The first section, the beginning - and this is the only section of the four stories that I've worked on so far - is limited to 150 words max.
I loved the challenge of establishing character and setting within that constraint. So much so, that I've written and rewritten one particular story beginning a dozen times or more, trying to beat my own wordcount! Doing this has made me:
- carefully consider the words I use because I need the most precise words to quickly create rich pictures in the reader's mind;
- think about how I structure my sentences, mostly for the sake of brevity;
- cut out repetition and redundancies (e.g. from my first story She gazed out the window at - 6 words - was changed to She gazed out at - 4 words- to Outside - 1 word. Yay!).
Thoughts on writing adviceMy little guy and I have been under the weather all week. In fact, just today I've managed to sniffle my way through an entire box of 110 3-ply tissues followed by half of a second box. Miserable is a word that comes to mind.
Yet, this development has led me to some thoughts on one particular piece of writing advice that goes around the writing community. (Or maybe it's just my interpretation?)
|Image courtesy of Karen Arnold at publicdomainpictures.net|
There are two kinds of obstacles, I feel. There's the "obstacle" called Life and there's the obstacle called Resistance. Life is more of an outer obstacle, Resistance an inner one.
LifeWhen Life throws hurdles in our way, such as illness or stress or tragedy or upset or anything else, then forcing our way past it, trying to block it out so we can WRITE is counterproductive, I feel. When Life throws something at us, weneed to respond to it. We need to dig deep and act, or we need to surrender and rest. One or the other. Trying to push aside whatever Life throws at us so we can write means we are pushing away opportunities for change and growth and development, the exact fodder we need to write great stories!
ResistanceNow, on the other hand, there's resistance. Not wanting to write because we're afraid. Not wanting to write because we'd prefer to do something easier like watch tv, or surf the net, or watch YouTube videos, or whatever out preferred mode of distraction from discomfort is.
THIS, I feel, is the time when we need to make ourselves sit down and write. THIS is when we need to "push through" the resistance, the fear, the discomfort. It's the only time we should "push through" and not let our fears and discomforts get the better of us.
Goal UpdateSo, did I complete all my goals last week? Due to Life's Hurdles, no. I did not finish any flash fiction, although I started FOUR (doing a snuffly happy dance here). I did comment on three or four ROW80 blogs, but I didn't get started back into my revision by Friday at the latest. So be it. I know myself well enough by now to understand that I will not do my best work when I am forcing it out come hell or high water in the face of Life's Hurdles.
Goals for the coming week are:
- Comment on 3 ROW80 blogs at least;
- Finish at least 2 of the flash fics;
- Get started on phase 3 of the revision a la Susan Dennard's Revision Guide.
Your ThoughtsWhat do you think of this pervasive attitude to writing - "write no matter what"? Is it just my interpretation of this "advice" or is it truly the message that is given to writers?
And, as always, check out the other ROW80 blogs!