Introducing The Flash Fictioners!
I am very pleased to announce The Flash Fictioners a new writing community on read.cash
I've been writing for around five years on Hive and many years before that on various platforms and projects. Yet still I recognise that a person can always improve, and so recently I've set myself a task to improve in my craft every single day that I can.
In order to achieve my goal I'm using a variety of techniques, one of which is flash fiction.
Like any other writer I want to create the big epic pieces, the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien, Iain M. Banks and J.K. Rowling.
Grand stories such as the ones woven by the illustrious authors mentioned above, are captivating in their complexity and subtlety. They draw us in with artistically described seeds planted in our imaginations, then left to flourish and bloom.
Just like you, I love a deep and meaningful, long twisting tale that I can sink my teeth into. However some of the most impactful and memorable stories I've read or even watched, are short ones.
If a story can capture you in what is seemingly an impossibly short amount of time, it is more likely to stay with you for a long time.
For example I can still remember the exact details of two particular short stories I came across around twenty five years ago.
The first was a sixty second short film about a man who was trying to kill a cockroach in his apartment that refuses to die. In the end he blows up his home and the roach still lives.
The second was a five minute short about a guy who finds a set of keys at a train station tagged with an address. He goes to the house and ends up digitally sealed inside and the only way to feed himself, is to also feed the cats. After a week the owner comes back, and the two of them go to the same train station to drop the tagged keys onto the floor.
The thing is, I didn't even watch the first one, it was a script someone had given me to read, and I still remember it now.
I believe it's because these stories managed to give me an entire narrative in such a short space of time and were perfectly pitched to trigger my imagination into colouring the story even further.
So to that end, especially for someone like myself who is sometimes prone to verbosity, short form story telling is a good skill.
Of course a lot of the things I have written on Hive are short form, indeed my Mega City Tales series is a collection of short sci-fi stories.
However flash fiction appeals to me because it is difficult. How can you tell an entire story, rich with detail, nuance, drama, tension, change and all the things that mesh together in order to weave an intricate tale, in such a short space of time?
I've laid out some of what I'm about to say in the group description, so here I'm going to go into a bit more detail as to why I started the group and what I'd love to see it become.
It's About The Art
First and foremost if you're a creative writer at whatever stage in your development, you should join this group if you are passionate about writing and self-improvement within the craft. Most importantly, you should not be afraid to fail.
Not every single story we write is going to be amazing, however it is the striving towards perfection that enables us to grow as creators.
Growth Is Reward
Of course if you are writing on the Hive blockchain then you have been used to getting rewarded for your efforts. Maybe you haven't yet managed to break a dollar or you could be someone who earns hundreds per post.
There is obviously nothing wrong with that, however if you're joining this group because you think you may get madly rewarded for it, you may be disappointed.
My vote is not worth much at the moment and I can't guarantee the people who vote for me will vote for you. For the time being at least, this is going to be purely for the love of it.
I'm not saying that being a member of this group won't pay off at some point in the future, however for now it is all about growing your skills as a writer, sharing stories and ideas and entertaining your readers.
As a fellow member of the Flash Fictioners I will behave as I'd expect you to. Which is to encourage and help fellow authors in the group.
So for instance if I read a story whereby I feel I can give good feedback, then I'll give out some constructive criticism
This may take the form of actual direct advice on writing styles, or asking questions of the story and characters. Or maybe in some cases linking to outside resources that I feel have helped me grow in the writing process.
Remember constructive criticism isn't about being nice or nasty, but giving feedback and advice that the author can take away and act upon.
Of course I'm not expecting every single comment to be a detailed critical analysis of the work, because of course some of us just read for pleasure and have no interest in any type of creative writing.
So all that said regarding rewards, there will be the opportunity to earn some crypto by entering the Fast Fictioners competitions running from time to time.
These comps at first will just be for a few Hive here and there as I'll be using a portion of my rewards to fund them. Hopefully after a while I'll be able to run larger comps and who knows? Maybe a story-loving Hive Whale will sponsor the group.
My main motivation with competition is to encourage quality. I want The Fast Fictioners to be the most creative, quality-content-creating group on the entire blockchain and I'm prepared to use my own finances to fund that goal!
If we strip a story down to its bare bones, then what do we see there? In other words; what makes a good story?
To boil it down to the bare minimum a story must have conflict, tension and change. How you express this is up to you.
The story could be about the time you went to the dentist to remove a molar, it doesn't matter as long as you convey the conflict, tension and change in the moment.
Maybe you were conflicted because you're terrified of dentists but don't want your child to be worried. Maybe there was a sexual tension between you and your dentist. Perhaps the change you experienced, can be expressed by how you felt about the dentistry profession after you left.
The fact is, any story can be told well or badly, it's how you tell it.
There is a saying amongst the writing community and that is:
show, don't tell.
This can also be transposed as; describe, don't explain.
So you could give me an itinerary for the day you went to the dentist, detailing your movements and the exact time of the procedure. Which would of course bore me to tears.
Or you could entertain me by describing your visit in wonderful illustrious detail, full of sound, sight and smell, so that I almost feel like it is me sitting in that chair as you spin your yarn.
Some of you may just want to be connected to good writing and you're just joining for the quality content and any lols that might be generated along the way. Which is more than awesome!
Without readers, us writers are nothing but journal keepers.
The first rule of The Flash Fictioners, is unlike Fight Club, you can, and in fact are encouraged to, talk about The Flash Fictioners as much as you like.
The second is that all stories submitted to The Flash Fictioners group must be between 250-1200 words in length. Some purists might say that it should be at least 500-1500 however I think that once you're around the 1500 mark, you may as well call it a short story and be done.
If your story is more than 1200 words (minus title) and you really can't get it down any further. Then please save that for one of the other wonderful writing groups.
(Please include a word count at the top of the article. Title does not go towards the count.)
Thirdly as I've mentioned above, submissions must endeavour to be creative. I don't want to hear about your trip to the beach if you explain it to me, however if you describe it, then by all means tell me about it.
Engage in constructive criticism. This is so important for a writer, we need feedback, tell us why you liked a persons tale or how you think it could be improved. I'm sure it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, be respectful.
Just remember, being respectful doesn't mean you have to suck up to me or anyone else. If you don't like what I or anyone else has written, give us some constructive feedback, as this is one of the best ways to improve.
As I've said above, tell stories, this is a creative writing group so whatever subject you choose, describe creatively!
Lastly let's all have fun! This is about growing your talents while pushing your creativity to its absolute limit. Enjoy the process, enjoy the feeling of getting a little better every day.
I have already given the first contribution, I hope to see you over there, tell me what you thought of the story in the comments section.