N. Renee Brown

Part-time Author, Full-time Book Junkie

Blog Bite: Flash-a-Thon (not nearly as racy as you think)

2977 words on new stories done, PLUS the first 5 chapters of my NANOWRIMO novel are outlined…not to bad for one day’s work.

The first (and hopefully not the last) Flash-a-Thon was held this weekend. It was conceived of by my friend DL Thurston, fleshed out by the CVS Writing Group, and supported by Unleaded Writing (in that Day and I brought snacks to Flash-a-Thon headquarters…and also promoted it on the blog and in the twittersphere unabashedly).


Basically, it was 12 crazy hours- noon to midnight -in which you had to produce words once an hour. You can’t think about writing or think about your story or do research, but almost anything else counts. Character studies, outlining, stream of consciousness, or (gasp!) writing a story/poetry/chapter/scene. Putting pen to paper was the important thing here. Actually producing words was the point.


Yeah, I know, twelve hours of writing seems a little daunting, but once I got into it I was fine.

See, every hour had a prompt, so I didn’t even have to come up with my own ideas. I just waited to see what was provided and went from there.
Of the prompts provided (by lovely guest authors) I used 9 of them. Of the 9 I used I posted 7 of the stories I created. Of those 7 at least 3 are something I will revisit (to polish/expand/whatever and then submit)…one is the beginning of a much longer piece…and 3 will be expanded into different stories. That means every story I posted, I found something good in. Of the 2 I did not post, one of them is dreck (I hate love stories!!!), and one of them will evolve into a short story OR might be included in the nano-novel for this year (it is still up for debate in my mind).
The 3 hours I did not use the prompts were filled with outlining the thriller I am planning on writing for this year’s NANOWRIMO.

So yes, I participated in every hour! 12 hours of writing! (Again, it sounds much grander than it was.)
Those 12 hours were NOT completely filled with writing. No, I’d bang out my story in the first 15-30 minutes and have half an hour to hang out and do whatever (check out Unleaded Writing later tonight for a whole post on “quick writing” from me). During one hour, I pounded out a story…yelled at my wife to hurry…drove down to Virginia to Flash-a-Thon headquarters…and made it in time to get the next prompt with 45minutes left for writing. Another hour we all got done by half past, so we played a game. Another hour I made lunch. And another we ate pizza and made cookies.

So it isn’t like my whole life was sidetracked by this, it was just 12 little blocks of time to write, and so what if I spent an extra 10 minutes (usually around 50 past the hour) wondering what the next prompt would be and itching to get started…that’s good, right? It got me not only THINKING about writing, it’s got me writing too.
All in all…a worthwhile and productive day.

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