Yesterday a tweet from Operation Awesome caught my eye. Remembering that my writing partner mentioned that participating in one helped her writing–and since she writes twice as much as I do during our sprints–I decided to give it a whirl with only theww hours left to the submission deadline.
The rules were easy, a 500 word story using the Prompt “Learning How to Walk” while attempting to incorporate some of the judge’s interest. I chose a story with a beginning/middle/ending. Four of us entered and the winner was announced this morning.
Many might think that a 500 word piece of fiction on learning to walk would be easy. Nope, it wasn’t.
Despite that the words did flow from my brain to my finger tips and I did finish the piece in less than an hour, the maximum word count restriction proved more difficult. Toward the end my focus became the cuts to accomplish the word count, tossing aside any attempt to pay too much attention to typos or repetitive phrases.
Needless to say I didn’t win, but I did learn and confirm some things about flash fiction.
The truth is that flash fiction can be fun and exciting. A thrill. It can be the catalyst for ideas to be pored out on the screen without spending too much time on subplots and characters. And, as others have said, it may help us to work on our craft and thereby strengthen our writing.
I’ll be looking for more of these contests to participate in. Hopefully I’ll become so good at them that I will win or at least increase my word count during my sprints.