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Flash Challenges

At Liberty Hall, members are given a weekly "trigger" to write a story about. You have 90 minutes. Stories are anonymously posted on Mondays and members crit on stories that aren't in the same group as theirs. Each group has a vote for "Best Flash". On Wednesdays, everyone votes for "Best of the Best", with one overall winner chosen Thursday. That winner provides the next trigger.

Well, last week was my second attempt at this. I felt pretty intimidated, as there are a lot of talented writers on this board. My first story wasn't all that well received, as I think I treated it a bit lightly. The only idea I got was silly, so I wrote silly. But most members at LH are looking to publish, so I got mixed reviews.

So I was a bit nervous this time. These folks are great in their critiquing, as in they're honest while -- in the nicest way -- candid about suggesting how to improve not only your story but your overall writing ability.

I was absolutely stoked when my second story got some very encouraging reviews and feedback.

It started innocently enough. I kept checking to see if anyone else had read it. Oh, they liked it too. Oh wow, they really liked it...

Then I got my first vote for "Best". Praise the Lord!

10 minutes later, I'm checking again.

5 minutes later.

And then I realized it. Liberty Hall is like crack. One little bit, and I'm wanting more, more, MORE!

I realize, of course, that the voting means nothing. I've been on cloud nine all weekend, and my head has only required deflating twice. But really, I find myself wishing less people liked it. A few gave general suggestions for improvement, but I am so new at this that I don't even really know where to go from there. Oh, why couldn't they tear it apart sentence by sentence and tell me how to REALLY wow them?

Yes, it's a drug and I'm hooked. I suppose there could be worse things than knocking out a story a weekend. But considering that I've started-and-not-finished about 657,098,324 stories over the years, I figure I'll stick with it a while. And the best part, at least there's ample encouragement to GET IT OUT THERE and start the rejection-collection process.


Check out Liberty Hall if you want to try to join.

And check out The Supercool Zoomquilt if you want to see the trigger I picked for this week.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Sep. 19th, 2005 09:17 am (UTC)
Two things:

One, congratulations on your good reviews. :)

And Two, I'm responding to your "Why no poems" comments on my blog (thanks for taking the time, btw.)

The reason I don't link to my poems is because...well, I'm really not up to inflicting them upon an unsuspecting public. I just couldn't handle the guilt.

Sorry. :)

--Cristian V. Gurau
(Anonymous)
Sep. 19th, 2005 09:48 am (UTC)
It's me again (I feel like such a pest).

After I visited posted here, I went to Liberty Hall and saw that to join, I have to have a member vouch for me.

I hate to bother you, but as you're the only member I know, do me the honor?

--CVG
ahavah
Sep. 19th, 2005 09:28 pm (UTC)
Mwaa-haa-haa...

Can I see the poems?

Seriously, though, I'll email the admin tonight. I'm on my way out the door right now. Just let me know what email addy you'll use for the challenges, so I can pass it along.

And you're no pest -- I'm glad to have someone finally comment!
(Anonymous)
Sep. 21st, 2005 07:54 pm (UTC)
Writings
I was trying to figure the "Liberty Hall" thing out. Is there a link to your story, or do you have to join to read?

I'm finding that blogging itself is like crack.

Thank you for coming by my blog, and for taking the time to write your insightful, helpful comment. I have been amazed, as I've started in the blogosphere, of the impact of kind words from strangers like you, and how quickly those strangers become cyber-friends. I'll look forward to seeing your place here take shape, and hope to see you back where I am.

LiveJournal doesn't like Blogger in "Open ID", but I'm really not anonymous.

-Cheryl
cherylannsinglemom.blogspot.com
ahavah
Sep. 22nd, 2005 11:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Writings
Thanks so much, Cheryl. I am also becoming addicted, although I only have a few blogs I frequent. You update yours more than most of the folks I follow.

As for Liberty Hall, you do have to join to be able to read stories. My story isn't there anymore, though, as they're all erased after each week's contest. LH is mostly serious writers working on getting published, and with those rules, having the stories posted there doesn't count as a previous 'online publication' once it comes time to submit.

Good luck with your son!

Many Blessings!

(Anonymous)
Sep. 24th, 2005 06:45 am (UTC)
Well, since we seem to have this you-post-on-my-blog-and-I'll-post-on-yours dynamic, I thought I'd respond here instead of e-mailing you.

First, thanks for the recommendation. I though I'd wait for your thumbs-up before applying, otherwise it'd seem like I was registering out of the blue, and he seems to frown upon that. Had it in big red letters, and everything.

Second: what's your NaNo story going to be about? I though I'd try my hand at SciFi. I haven't written any in years, and never seriously.

Third: No poems. Not now, not ever. Believe me, it's for the best. :D

I feel I can mention, however, that...no, I can't. It wouldn't be right.

Who'd pay for your shrink? XD

--Cristian V. Gurau

PS--I know what you mean about comments. At two posts, you make up 50% of my commentators, and my blog's almost a year old.
ahavah
Sep. 25th, 2005 01:52 am (UTC)
1st: I'll look for you at LH. It's a lot of fun over there.

2nd: I had an idea for my NaNo story, but now I'm afraid that I'll never learn/research enough in the next month to be able to pull it off. I've always wanted to write a story about what happened to the guy who got his ear cut off at Gethsemane when Jesus was arrested. Unfortunately, that's a very significant period in history and I apparently know nothing about it. We'll see if I'll make it...

3rd: That's too bad. I have pages of angsty teen drama poems from years ago. When you feel like sharing, I'll show you mine if you show me yours. ;)
(Anonymous)
Sep. 25th, 2005 05:48 am (UTC)
Seriously?

Well....

*resolve weakens*

I suppose...

If you promise not to laugh...or share...ever...
(Anonymous)
Oct. 25th, 2005 09:06 pm (UTC)
Liberty Hall
Glad you like LH, Ahavah!

Did you know that it started as an April Fool's joke? I had previously posted about doing flash challenges on Hatrack and received some pretty sarcastic replies. So, on April 1 I started up FC#1 and challenged a bunch of people to try. We had 9 entries. Now, it is FC#30 and people have come and gone and we have collectively generated over 700 stories. Four are currently published and more are on the way.

The joke is on me. :)

And though I get pretty discouraged at hardly ever being able to have the free time to join in my own challenges, it is still worth it when I read something like your post, and that it isn't a total waste of time.

So, thank you.

Mike Munsil
El Supremo, Liberty Hall

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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