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« Week #253 - The road to shitty fiction is paved with good intentions »
SA Prompt | SA Results
Date: 6-6-2017
Word Limit: 2500
Words Written: 17,086

Judges (crits):
*Sitting Here
Chili
QuoProQuid

Audio Recap: Week 253

Soapbox time. I think a lot of what gets written around Thunderdome isn't properly "flash" fiction. Lots of us enjoy reading and writing novels, so it makes sense that the Thunderdome aesthetic would favor traditional storytelling arcs. And that's great. Absolutely nothing wrong with telling a proper story with a beginning, middle, and end. But when you look at the kind of flash fiction that is getting published in literary journals, it's often very different than the things that do well in Thunderdome. Someone in IRC said that they always think of Thunderdome stories as "longer fiction, done very efficiently," which I think hit the nail on the head.

To that end, our goal this week is very simple. I want you to approach your stories with intention. Either you are writing a short story, with a beginning, middle, and end OR you are writing a flash fiction story that focuses on a powerful image, feeling, thought, or moment.

When you sign up, you must announce which type of piece you intend to write. There will be rules for both categories. Read fucking carefully.

IF YOU INTEND TO WRITE A SHORT STORY:

  • You get 2500 words. If you use all 2500 of those words but I don't feel fucking resolved and satisfied by the end, your ass is done.
  • You MUST, absolutely MUST, include at least three distinct moments of escalation in your story. What do I mean by that? For example: Character A finds a magic ring; bad guys come for the magic ring and character A fights them off; Character A learns a terrible secret about the magic ring that forces them to change their trajectory in some way. No stories about people plodding across a desert or drifting mournfully through space.
  • If you need some inspiration, I will give you your inciting incident. Just ask for a flash rule.
  • I can't over emphasize how much these need to be full, rounded stories.

IF YOU INTEND TO WRITE A FLASH STORY

  • You get 750 words maximum. If I see you trying to sneak in some three-act hero's journey bullshit instead of giving me a strong moment, feeling, image, or idea, your ass is done.
  • These pieces should focus on beginning and ending with a strong image/idea/feeling/etc/etc/etc. This is where you can get poetic or weird. HOWEVER, if I detect that you are faffing about, trying to sound fancy but providing no substance, you will do poorly.
  • If you need some inspiration, I will give you a feeling or image to get you started. Just ask for a flashrule.
  • These pieces should be small but powerful. Remember those really sour Warheads candies from the 90s? Your story needs to be like that. A lot of potency crammed into something that can fit on the tip of your tongue.


19 Total Submissions, 4 Total Failures:
Winner
1
Honorable Mention
2
Honorable Mention
3
4
Honorable Mention
5
6
7
Dishonorable Mention
8
Honorable Mention
9
10
11
12
Honorable Mention
13
14
Loser
15
16
17
18
19

Failures who signed up but did not submit: