A.J. Walker

writerer

flash friday fiction

It's Practice and It's Fun

With the return of the great Flash! Friday fiction challenge comes the relative furore that it deserves, And that raises several interesting points. The fact that there is a ‘winner’ drives more people to enter than one that is just for your own challenge (the Seedling Challenge being a case in point - no winner and hardly any interest). Having a winner drives more people to go for it. And yet what is the winner in actuality? Hopefully it is one of the better entries that week. But there is no guarantee of that. And of course so much is subjective. One person’s piece of genius is another’s ‘what the fuck is that all about?’. 

There have been other challenges that as well as having the winner chosen by a ‘judge’ (often the winner from one of the preceding weeks) also have a comunity winner - or one that gets the popular vote in ‘likes;’ or whatever. Is this a better way of choosing a winner - I doubt that. Often the writer with the most followers or maybe just the first person to get a story up could win that one. 

No. Having judges decide it is the best idea. And the feedback from them is nice. But there’s the luck of the draw too. If your style doesn’t hit the judge’s appreciation meter that week then maybe you would have won the previous week with a different one who loves your work. 

The desire to be chosen as a winner must be important (or else other challenges that don’t have them would have similar entries). As far as I am concerned the winner is the winner in that judge’s eyes that week. Everyone has preferences. We all have our own favourite authors and genres. There can be no definitive ‘winner’ unless there is only one entry (and in that case they would also be the worst entry of the week).

Look, all I’m saying is enjoy it for what it is. If you win: great–enjoy the moment,the love and kudos. If you don’t then don’t sweat it either. Just enjoy the process, the vibe and all that. Don’t decide you are doing something wrong because your genius prose this week doesn’t win you the plaudits you expected. I’ve ‘won; challenges with pieces I’ve not been happy with and come nowhere with ones I’m very happy with. Just take every bit of writing as practice towards bigger goals–whatever they may be.

Write your piece; click your likes on the stories you like; comment if you want (and can–depending on the vagaries of WordPress at the time) and enjoy the community. Don’t sweat it. Just enjoy it. I’m not an everyone is a winner guy (god help me) but look it really is all practice and let’s face it a bit of fun.

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Incidentally I’m one of two judges in the coming weeks on Flash Friday and if I pick your story it’s cos I like it. And if I don’t, then maybe I am wrong or just don’t understand it. #keepwriting 
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Flash! Friday: The Return of the Dragons

Out of nowhere Flash! Friday is returning and I for one am made up. Of course I am not the only one. It is one of the first flash fiction challenges I got into regularly. Along with Angry Hourglass these were my two favourite weekly challenges and when it went away (I won't say died, for this is no resurrection) I was a little sad. This was compounded later by the long walk taken by Angry Hourglass too (um… I wonder if that will be back one day?).

The friends I met online through being involved in these two challenges have endured the years since. Many of the regulars who wrote most of the weeks in these grew to become the fabulous
Flash Dogs, who produced amazing books in the following years. Yes, from writing in these challenges and meeting regularly on Twitter we actually produced hard copy beautiful books. Champion!

FireAndIce

Who knows where this return will take us, maybe not so far. Maybe further. Wherever it goes it will be a fun ride. And it will be fabulous to introduce the dragons to all the new brethren who have discovered the joy of micro fiction through VSS365 (which after all is a love child from the Flash Dogs).

Please get involved. It's great writing practice and may give you ideas for longer stories too. I can't wait to see your stories there. And hell, some weeks I'll be helping judge them – yeah, didn't I say? It's a judged challenge. It's great that I'll be teamed up together with @voimaoy for this again. Winners get a virtual badge and a warm feeling. I was lucky to win and get placed several times – and it did make me feel warm and fuzzy.

When does it start? That'll be
Friday (there's a clue in the name, you know).

Follow
@FlashFridayFic on Twitter and if you are tweeting about it use the hashtag #fireiceflash and, of course, get one over to the website: flashfriday.wordpress.com
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