If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, then you might have seen a series of posts called One-Hour Flash. These are flash fiction stories I’ve written in one hour as part of a writing exercise. The basic gist is that you get a prompt and then try to bang out the best story you can on that prompt in one hour. It’s a great little exercise/contest to do with your (closed) writing group, as it really forces you out of your comfort zone (always good for a writer). The One-Hour Flash series on this blog features stories that weren’t good enough (in my opinion) to submit to publishers. I could call them Flash Failures, but I try not to be too negative. So, have I ever actually published any of these one-hour flash stories? Yes I have.
The latest one-hour flash story to be published went live this morning. It’s called “Simulacra” and you can read it right now over at Ellipsis Zine.
“Simulacra” is my twenty-third publication (acceptance) of a story that began life as a one-hour flash piece. Here’s the rest, with links to read some if you are so inclined.
|A Man of Many Hats||The Molotov Cocktail||Flash|
|An Incident on Dover Street||The Molotov Cocktail||Flash|
|At the Seams||The Molotov Cocktail||Flash|
|Beyond the Block||The Molotov Cocktail||Flash|
|Big Problems||Havok Magzine||Flash|
|Caroline||Red Sun Magazine||Short Story|
|Little Sister||The Molotov Cocktail||Flash|
|Luck Be a Bullet*||Spinetingler Mag||Short Story|
|Masks||The Molotov Cocktail||Flash|
|New Arrivals||Havok Magzine||Flash|
|Night Walk||The Molotov Cocktail||Flash|
|One Last Spell, My Love||Allegory||Short Story|
|Paper Cut||Red Sun Magazine||Short Story|
|Scare Tactics*||Flame Tree Publishing||Short Story|
|Shadow Can||The Molotov Cocktail||Flash|
|Side Effects||The Molotov Cocktail||Flash|
|The Father of Terror||The Molotov Cocktail||Flash|
|The Rarest Cut||Evil Girlfriend Media||Flash|
|The Sitting Room||The Molotov Cocktail||Flash|
|Where They Belong||DarkFuse Magazine||Flash|
As you can see, The Molotov Cocktail has been very good to me, and many of these stories have placed in their various themed contests. Most of the stories I kept as flash fiction with a little (or a lot) of revision and polish. A few, though, I expanded into longer pieces, and one of them, “Scare Tactics,” is on it’s third publication.
So, what am I trying to say with all this other than showing off a bunch of publications? Basically, when you force yourself to write outside of your comfort zone (by setting a clock), you are likely to write something you normally wouldn’t out of sheer desperation and less likely fall back on concepts and tropes you might overuse. I know that’s the case for me. Of course, you can get out of your comfort zone in a lot of ways. Putting yourself on a clock and writing to a random prompt is just one way to do it. Still, I urge you to give the one-hour flash challenge a try and see where it takes you.