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14 December 2015 @ 07:09 pm
A friend advised me a while back that the flash fiction contest is so limiting already, writing for a prompt that's a phrase instead of a single word is too challenging. December Tales contest is meant to give you a writing break during the hustle and bustle so we will keep it simple AND encourage some holiday cheer.

Write for us this third week of December, in 300 words or less, a little something about LIBATION.

Feel free to do some real world research in preparation.

14 December 2015 @ 07:51 am
Good morning, Flames!

We are having an unseasonable holiday season down here in South Florida. We've had a day or two in the upper sixties (which was soooo nice), but this week they are predicting mid-eighties. I guess there won't be any snow for Christmas. I hope your winter is going a bit more as expected.

Ayumidah responded to our prompt of "You are our only hope." this week. She also submitted a piece for last week's prompt of "Move heaven and earth." but due to a timing glitch it wasn't with the Sunday night submissions. We are sharing both with you now. Enjoy, and please share a little comment love with our Brigit's Flame trooper.

For week one -
Title: Loss
Author: ayumidah
Wordcount: 109

For week two -
Title: Hope
Author: ayumidah
Wordcount: 126
Theme: friendship
Warnings: none
07 December 2015 @ 07:40 am
Hello again,
With December being a busy month for many, we are offering stand-alone contests each week of December. Your response to this week's prompt should be turned in by Sunday, December 13th before 11:45pm (EST).

In 300 words or less I challenge you to write a tale with the theme

"You are our only hope."

You may submit up to three entries for the contest as long as they are newly written and shaped for the prompt.


Good morning, Flames and all other interested parties!
Today is the first day of December and the first day of a new series of prompts and writing challenges. Since this is a busy month for many we will offer stand-alone contests each week of December. Your response to this week's prompt should be turned in on Sunday, December 6th by 11:45pm (EST).

In 300 words or less I challenge you to write a tale with the theme

"Move Heaven and Earth"

You may submit up to three entries for the contest as long as they are newly written and shaped for the prompt.


Submit Here
30 November 2015 @ 08:16 am
Happy NaNoWriMo to those who are crunching the last few words into their 50k. I know our very own cedarwolfsinger surpassed her goal this month; I hope you did too.

Arrivals only had one entry submitted so there will be no voting, but help us share some feedback and support for ayumidah who shared the following story for the prompt. If you have trouble commenting on dreamwidth, comment here and we will direct ayumidah to check out your responses.

Check back tomorrow for the first prompt of December. We are going to bring 2015 to a close with a few weeks of drabble and micro fiction.


Title: Home
Author: ayumidah
Word count: 421
Warnings: none
Theme: friendship
16 November 2015 @ 07:41 am

Good morning, Flames!
Limited response on the 'Departures' prompt, but I'm hoping that means a number of our members are plugging away at that NaNoWriMo goal.

Even though we have a list of two, don't forget to share constructive feedback with our writers so that they may learn what their readers are looking for.

Your reading list awaits:

Title: Fluke
Author: ayumidah
Word Count: 774
Genre: friendship
Warnings: none

Title: Departures
Author: Kathy Boles-Turner
Word Count: less than a zillion
Genre: speculative z-fic
Warnings: Profanity and violent deaths
This piece is reworked from an old story, but it has undergone a complete overhaul.

15 November 2015 @ 07:26 am

In keeping with the month's theme of
Arrivals and departures header

Your topic for the next two weeks is


When I think of arrivals I don't think of a character arriving at their destination but the people at that destination waiting to receive them. There is so much preparation that goes into receiving a guest. The days leading up to their arrival pass in a blink, as do the days of their visit. Have you ever noticed how fast a vacation passes? Ten days in the office take about twelve to get through, but ten days on a beach or holed up in a woodsy cabin only last about five. Vacations are the worst kind of time travel.

So what will you write about? Is the family coming over the river and through the woods for Thanksgiving? Did your astronaut take her first steps on Enceladus? Maybe there was an addition to the family or the zombies are at your door. The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination. We can't wait to see what you come up with.


The contest submissions for 'Arrivals' are due by 11:45pm (EST) on Sunday, November 29. I forgot to mention with 'Departures' (due tonight) that there was no word count limit. I think a reasonable max cap is 6,000 words. Don't go too crazy with it ;)

Submit Here

Congratulations, ayumidah!

October came down to two of our long-time members writing it off! Many thanks to all who played the game -- see you in November. #gowrite

06 November 2015 @ 07:50 am
To our NaNo friends, those competing in the Brigit's Flame contest this half of the month, and anyone who might just want a writing exercise - I give you the following challenge:

Compose a letter from a leading character [of your making], to yourself.
If you aren't sure what to write about in the letter think of it as a resume or missive to a long, lost someone (you) who needs to be caught up. It's a Dear Author letter containing your characters’ life histories.
Include any or all of the answers to the points below.
Whom or what your characters love and despise.
Details on education, employment, finances, political affiliations, social class.
Skeletons in cupboards.
Biggest regret.
Believer, agnostic, or atheist.
How afraid of dying are they?
Have they ever seen a corpse?
A ghost?
Glass half empty, glass half full, glass too small?
Snazzy or scruffy dressers?

It’s a letter, so consider their use of language. Would they say ‘mellifluous’ or ‘a sharp talker’? Foul-mouthed or profanity-averse? Record the phrases they unknowingly overuse. When did they last cry? Can they see another person’s point of view?

This exercise - taken from David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks, delivered by his character, Crispin Hershey, who was a lauded writer and who took up the teaching of writing in his golden years - is a way to really get to know your character. Even if the answers to your questions are not directly relevant to the story you are writing around them, these are personality seeds, motivators, detractors. They will help you pin down your character as a full-bodied person and not just a string of words ready to react to the stroke of your keys (or pen). It is easy to get caught up in the telling of your story and leave your characters to be paper dolls who are only there for you. A character your readers can invest in has a mind separate from yours and a life that existed before and after your writing.

Please enjoy the exercise and, if you have a mind to, share a link to the outcome below or on the original post at https://brigitsflame.wordpress.com/2015/11/06/youve-got-mail-a-writing-exercise/

Mitchell, David (2014-09-02). The Bone Clocks: A Novel (pp. 389-390). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
05 November 2015 @ 08:03 am
I recently finished reading a book called "Hawley Book of the Dead" by Chrysler Szarlan. Over the first few pages, the first person narrator foreshadowed the death of her husband at least six different ways. It wasn't subtle, she came right out and said, "On the day I killed my husband --" in the first or second line of the book, but each instance revealed a different nuance to the concept that her husband would end up dead in chapter one and that the rest of the story would take off from there.

Foreshadowing is a device that must be handled with care. If you say the wrong thing, you can put a reader off right away. Personally, I do not like to be told what is coming, but Chrysler Szarlan definitely did her foreshadowing right. Her first mention of the impending death gave me enough pause to wonder what kind of book I'd gotten myself into. By the sixth I was ready for her to stop beating around the bush and just kill him already so the grieving process could begin. I was invested.

It's made me think about a few years ago when a Brigit's Flame mini contest included an assigned writing device combined with two prompts. Before the cues were doled out, there was much discussion in Flame Chat over foreshadowing. Some people wanted it, others were hoping not to get it. I was on the fence. In order to properly foreshadow, you need to know your story up front -- you need to be in touch with your endings. Ninety percent of the time I write my way from beginning to end on short stories, with only a vague concept of where I'm going. Foreshadowing takes forethought.

It also takes death, destruction, or mayhem. You can't foreshadow happy times or mediocre accomplishments. (Unless you're writing satire...or you're hwango...hwango could probably use foreshadowing opposite to its intended purpose.) In this vein, the dictionary description of foreshadow uses the word in the example sentence fragment: "it foreshadowed my preoccupation with jazz". Not only is that a terrible example of how to use a word, imo, foreshadow has a more profound intent than 'suggest' or 'indicate'. It comes from the harbinger, and he does not put his energy into warning you what kind of music will be your jam. Unless that interest will be your DOOM!

Lemony Snicket is a writer who used foreshadowing as a marketing device. "A Series of Unfortunate Events?" No mystery there. Snicket's books say things on the cover like, "If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book. In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning, and very few happy things in the middle." I picked the book up immediately upon reading that and stuck it out for about ten volumes.

Despite my desire to unravel the mysteries of a book on my own without wink-winks and nudge-nudges from the author, there is a way to do foreshadowing where even I can be drawn in by it.

Talk to me about your foreshadowing experiences. Have you written using the device? Do you have a favorite story or author who uses it well? Do you have a negative opinion on the subject or example of a story that used foreshadowing in a way that ruined the reading experience for you?

To our poet followers - have you tried playing with foreshadowing in your writing? If so, share it with us or tell us what prompted you to play with the form.

There is reading to be done and tonight is your last chance to vote for your favorite.

#gowrite the plane is at the gate and is on schedule. Tell us about your Departure today.

Original post at https://brigitsflame.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/it-was-the-last-time-i-ever-foreshadowing/