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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

(vol 1) CHAPTER 44: “Flash Dogs”



EVERY SAGA HAS A BEGINNING

I’ve been writing for a long time.

I went through a script phase in the late 90’s, I started proper novel length works in 2007 with the discovery of NaNoWriMo, I even once attempted poetry. And dotted through it all are a lot of short stories.

Despite all that, I discovered this year that there was another form of writing I’d never heard of called Flash Fiction. So far I’m loving it.

Through a fellow writer named Craig Anderson, I found myself taking part in Flash! Friday’s weekly writing challenge; 24 hours to write a 150 word piece of fiction based on a photo and a prompt.

It’s been great flexing my creative muscle in this new method. Before discovering this style I just wrote stuff when ideas came to me and whenever I could find the time. But with Flash Friday I had deadlines and a fixed starting point. My brain was forced to create a story from something not of my choosing.

Several months in and another Flash Writer, Jacki Donnellan convinced me to try another contest and so I found my way over to Angry Hourglass. Similar rules but with 36 hours and 360 words.

As I became more involved in these contests I began to build friendships with various Flash Fiction writers. One day a couple of them started a movement; a group that all worked together to share and inform, to help make each other better writers.



THE GOLDEN TICKET


In the early days I wasn’t sure if I could consider myself a Flash Dog. Sure, I labelled my stories ‘#FlashDog’ and took part in the Flash Fiction contests, but was there an application form I needed to fill out or an initiation to go through?

These thoughts vanished towards the end of September. Rumblings began of an anthology brewing, something FlashDog HQ was thinking about putting together. There was a message that talked about Golden Tickets being e-mailed out to the lucky authors they wanted to be part of the first collection.

And that’s when I realised I was an official FlashDog. One evening I received a DM on Twitter asking me to be involved. I replied yes so quickly that a small sonic boom erupted just above my laptop keyboard.



THE HARD WORK

And so it began. The rules were drawn up and the Dogs were let loose.

The plan was that people could submit a long piece of their own choice between 1500-5000 words or three shorter pieces of up to 500 each. That would be part one of the project. Part two would follow the format of the many Flash Fiction contests the writers taking part loved so much. A picture was chosen and sent out to us with a 500 – 1500 word limit.

This is the part I’m looking forward to most; seeing what the other 33 authors have come up with using that image.



THE PITCH

Which brings us to the sell.

There’s no two ways about it; if you’re reading this blog post and you enjoy the weekly Flash stories I post every Friday and Sunday then you will love the Anthology. I may only have read 4 of the 110 stories that have been included (mine!) but I have read enough work by the 33 other authors to know that it’s going to be something special.

So, this Saturday, when you find yourself wondering what to do next with your day, while it’s wet and cold outside and there’s nothing on TV, why not boot up your Kindle or your Kindle app and download the Flash Dogs Anthology and get stuck in.



PREVIEW


Just a quick lowdown on the four stories I have going into the Anthology.


If You Go Down To The Woods Today

This is the shortest of my entries but also the one I’m proudest of. Back at the beginning of July I wrote it as my entry to that week’s Flash Fiction. Not only did it get me my highest finish (since matched but not yet beaten), it also gave the wonderful Rebekah Postupak the chance to talk through what she liked about the piece, an article that put a lump in my throat.


Glass Of Milk

This was the Krampus story I wrote for the Krampus competition back in August. I originally planned to post it on my blog as the festive season closed in but as soon as I got the call from FlashDog HQ I knew that I wanted it in.


My Nemesis

The first of my two original pieces written for the anthology, My Nemesis was an idea I thought up on the spot after dropping another story I wasn’t happy with. More than anything else, I love superhero stories, whether it’s in comic book or novel form (I’m a massive X-Men fan!) so I thought it best if that small genre was represented.


Tanks For The Help

The other original piece, this is the story based on the prompt. I’m extremely proud of the result and already have ideas to expand the story itself into something bigger. It’s a little weird and sci-fi but I think it’s something that conveys the kind of stories I like to tell.



3 SLEEPS TO GO


And that’s it. I know I’m looking forward to reading the other 106 stories contained within. I’m extremely proud to be part of the project and, no matter what else happens down the road, this will always be the first electronic release to contain my work.

A massive pat-on-the-back to the wonderful folk over at FlashDog HQ who have worked so hard that I think we should come up with a new word to sum up their efforts. From cover and poster designs to proof reading and formatting, they have been the glue that has kept the rest of the Dogs together.

And of course let’s not forget the rest of the Dogs themselves who have worked so hard with each other to bring you, the Flash Fiction reading public, the best bang for your buck (a buck that will be going to a fantastic charity – the IBBY).

May this be the first of many Anthology’s for this intrepid group of flash fiction adventurers and who knows, in 10 years’ time wouldn’t it be great to be releasing books under the FlashDog Publishing House.

Just a thought.

See you in seven.



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