flash fiction inktober 2019

October is the best. October means fall and embracing my goals witch aesthetic (I don’t have the wardrobe yet, but I’m coveting pretty hard). It means I can go outside again without melting or getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.

It also means Inktober. And now, to me, it means flash fiction. Last year, I challenged myself to write a piece of flash everyday using a list of writing prompts I had collected combined with the official Inktober prompt list. Having the two different prompts was helpful in kicking off idea generation — there is an immediate constraint, which makes my brain switch into problem-solving mode.

So here’s my plan this year: 25 pieces of flash in the month of October. I’m taking this weekend off, since we’re going out of town, and I’m also giving myself one day off a week. That also means I get 6 ‘skips’ for the Inktober list, if one of the prompt words doesn’t particularly strike my fancy. Otherwise, rules are the same as previously.

Here they are again if you want to play along. Feel free to adjust to fit your own goals and brain.

THE CHALLENGE

  • Write a piece of flash fiction daily for the month of October — 31 first drafts for 31 days. (Although like I said, I’m doing 25.)
  • Each flash fiction piece should be <=1000 words long and must contain an arc/plot/conflict (vignettes and slice-of-life stories don’t count).
  • Try to go two to three layers down from where your brain first lands with the prompt.
  • Share the piece (or even just your favorite line): to your blog, to a kind friend, to an internet rando. Let someone know about the work you’re doing!
    • If you post it to social, tag it with #flashfictober.

BONUS POINTS (Even though I’m still not keeping score.)

  • Make your piece <100 words (still has to have conflict!).
  • Try out some genres you don’t usually write in.
  • Try writing some poetry!
  • Include the Inktober word somewhere in your piece.
    • Extra house points if the word is tied to the theme of your piece.

[2019 inktober]

  • Triple point score if you also do Inktober the way it was intended! Illustrate your flash, if you’d like. Keep it ink, and don’t get stuck on ‘perfect.’

Last year, I did my flash piece as the first thing in my workflow and found that it made my subsequent words easier to write. I had already unstuck myself, gotten into writing mode, and given myself permission to be experimental and to forget about perfection.

Remember, this exercise is about process and iteration. Try things, play around, unleash your creative energies. Reboot your creative brain. And let me know how it goes!

flash fiction inktober mash-up

For the past month I’ve been receiving emails or seeing social media posts about Inktober and NaNoWriMo. Apparently, fall is the season for daily challenges.

I did both challenges last year with varying degrees of success.

Inktober (daily ink drawing for the month of October) was something I decided to participate in as kind of a lark. I found it to be immensely satisfying though — it was a nice way to work in another creative medium and add some structure to my day.

But.

Right now, I’m trying to get words out onto a page. I need practice pulling together a tight story arc. I need a way to let myself be playful and experimental again, instead of holding each thing too preciously, too worried about perfection to create. And I need to refocus my energies on process instead of product.

And since it’s hard for me to pass up a good prompt list, I decided to smush the Inktober prompts onto a bunch of writing prompts I’ve been collecting, thus creating a FLASH FICTION INKTOBER MASH-UP CHALLENGE. (Please read that to yourself in your best announcer’s voice. Whether silently or aloud is up to you.)

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