Thursday, May 16, 2013

NUMERO UNO

So here we go with my very first post. Yep, I'm totally new to the blog thing. Sure, I've read them, know what they are, since I haven't been living under a rock, but writing one...a little scary, so if anyone wants to send a few calming vibes in my direction, much appreciated.

Now that we've got that little tidbit out of the way...

This week I tried to get back into entering flash challenges after not doing so for a long, long time thanks to family drama, health drama, the usual life stuff that mucks up the writing works. For anyone not familiar with flash challenges, you're given a writing prompt, such as a weird picture like this...

Getty Images

...and a time limit in which to craft your undoubtedly weird tale. I'd guess it varies, but in my experience, 90 minutes is typical. Sounds like a decent amount of time, right? Not really. Especially when you start proofreading and realize that yes, you did mix up they're, their and there every single time, or in the first paragraph you said the lock-bag heads wore white pants, then in the fifth, it mysteriously changes to khakis. Not that anyone would care about the rest of their ensemble, considering, but inconsistencies are inconsistencies. (One thing I am wondering: do they actually use a key?)

Anyway, for the first challenge, I came up with an at least half-decent idea and was clipping right along, but ran into a problem. One: it was very late. Two: I was very tired. So tired that my brain became even more spaghetti-like than usual and I couldn't maintain the slightest bit of coherence. Maybe I could've persevered and come up with some cool, experimental tale, but switching from conversational style speculative to that probably would've come across as slightly incongruent.

So ended Attempt #1, defeated by The Sandman.

For the second challenge, I came up up with another at least half-decent idea and was clipping right along once again, but clipped a little too far, leaving me scrambling to hit "Submit" with -45 seconds remaining, at which time I had yet to proofread anything. So I proceeded to corner-eye the seconds ticking down while skimming for obvious misspellings and/or grammatical errors, but if speed is the sole judging criteria, I'm apparently a poor skimmer. I did still submit it even though it was late, but that left it out of the running for the competition, and it's also questionable whether that story turned out to be any more coherent than the first one would've been.

So ended Attempt #2, defeated by The Timer and my lack of coherence even while wide awake.

In other words, my return to flash challenges was a dismal failure, but at least I managed getting back up on the temperamental horse.

And I did end up with a 5,000+ word story from the first one, once I was awake enough to avoid running the horse onto the experimental track. Whether it could ever make it onto the published track, who knows, but I finished it!

Since I'm only able to say those three little words once for every twenty it's not done!, that goes a long way toward counteracting the dismal.

But what does this mean? Now all those people who say You just need to get out there and write, as long as you write something, that's better than nothing, will also be saying See? We told you so.

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