Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Flash Mob (July) Ends and Begins Again

Expose Yourself
to Fiction

Welcome to Dude Write!

We are thrilled to have you here, whether you are a Writer Dude, a Blogger Dude, a Reader Dude or a Fanatic of good writing. If you've stumbled upon us via a link and wondering what you've gotten yourself into, our Mission Statement should explain it all.

We challenged our dudes this month to a little writing.

No, we mean A LITTLE ...like less than 501 Words!

Flash Fiction is a style of writing to which many of us are unaccustomed.

This didn't stop us. We launched our first Flash Fiction Competition that would run through July.

Because we love our Dudes and wanted to give them a panel of impartial judges, I bring you our celebrated panel of judges, in the order of their agreement.

1. Jim Harrington (@JimHarrington47) began writing fiction in 2007 and has agonized over the form ever since. His recent stories have appeared in Short, Fast and Deadly, Ink Sweat and Tears, Near to the Knuckle, Flashes in the Dark, and others. "Redlining" was chosen for inclusion in the Pulp Ink, a collection of crime stories. He serves as Fiction Editor for Apollo's Lyre ( http://apollos-lyre.tripod.com/index.html) and Flash Markets Editor for Flash Fiction Chronicles (http://www.everydayfiction.com/flashfictionblog/). Jim's Six Questions For . . . blog (http://sixquestionsfor.
blogspot.com/) provides editors and publishers a place to “tell it like it is.” You can read more of his stories at http://jpharrington.blogspot.com.

2. Madeleine Farraday (@farradaysfables) is an accomplished author having finished her 1st novel 'The Chronicles of Darleion' in March, and is working on a 2nd (not a sequel.) She writes flash fiction and fantasy. She was honorably mentioned in the Columbus Creative Cooperative's flash fiction contest in May 2012 for her story, Pizza on a Purple Planet. She is active in flash fiction contests and on writers' forums in the USA and the UK. She is a mother of two and works online for K12 and ETS. She lives in Southern California.

3. Rosalind Smith-Nazilli (@MrsNazilli) is a writer with the concentration span of a goldfish - Really! She has collections and flash fiction scattered around cyberspace and is always writing more. She writes on http://rosiesmith-nazilliwrites.blogspot.com and a book of her flash fiction is available on Amazon entitled Consequential Moments Originally from the UK, she now lives by the sea in Turkey with her husband and this is probably what causes her lack of concentration. She can hear the waves lapping at all times, and has a tendency to leap into a bikini at any given moment -not a pretty sight. Being able to bash out 100 -500 words for a flash has never been a huge challenge for her but at some point it is her intention to move on to something a little longer - somewhere in the region of 30k words, anything more and she will lose the plot for sure. Punctuation was never her strongest point so that's why someone else has control over that! Retired from nursing she spends her days writing, walking, swimming and knitting.

Please don't forget to thank them for their time and efforts in our first month.

Jim Harrington said "What a fun bunch of stories for the first month of Dude Write's flash fiction contest. After reading all the entries a couple of times, I chose "Pulling the Plug" by Nest Expressed as my winner. According to master teacher and author William G. Tapply, "Doubt causes tension, and tension causes conflict, and conflict is the energy that drives stories." In "Pulling the Plug," Next Expressed brings tension to the story in the opening sentence, with a husband and wife at odds over something. The tension continues as neither party is willing to concede. I also found the dialog realistic, something that many writer struggle with. Congratulations and well done, NE."

Madeleine Farraday said "For the Dude Write Flash Fiction Contest, I chose ‘The Bunker’ as the winning entry. It combined suspense with subtlety to create a gripping story. It did not explicitly state the motives of the father for pretending that the cardboard bunker would protect him and the kids from impending doom. It left some room for imagination, so the reader could come to his/her own conclusions as to why the father might hoodwink his children in this manner. The author created a sympathetic figure in the protagonist; any parent could understand not wanting to subject children to terror when doom is inevitable and imminent. This story appeals to the reader’s emotions, is succinct in its descriptions and word choice, and concludes with a satisfying punch. I thoroughly enjoyed it."

Rosalind Smith-Nazilli said "A great collection of stories and some awesome writing all round. The one I kept coming back to - "Pulling the Plug" - Nest Expressed. A complete story in 500 words or less is no mean feat and here it has been pulled off to perfection. It has everything I love, humour, bad language and a twist that didn't hit me before the end. The element of mystery was there, arousing my curiosity and adding the most important "must read on" factor. Excellent writing from someone I shall be keeping an eye on. I like your style sir.."

Jim also felt we could benefit from some other tips! (Thanks Jim!)

I thought I'd make a few general comments about writing flash for those of you who enter next month.

-Get right to the action. Don't start with a lot of background information (also known as backstory). You may lose the reader before he gets to the "good stuff."

-If you can cut a word without changing the story in any way, do so.

-Avoid adverbs (ly words). In most cases, they are redundant. One example I've used before is "He inched slowly." By definition, inched means to progress in a slow manner. "Slowly" isn't needed for the reader to know how the character is moving.

-Say something once and move on. Repeating an idea a number of times wastes words that can be used to show more about a character or further the plot.

-Let the reader do some of the work. If someone is texting as he walks down the street and doesn't see the intersection coming, the reader can figure out he stepped into the intersection when he gets hit by the bus. You don't have to write, "without looking, he stepped in front of the bus."

And the popular vote winner is... A TIE!

Who would guess that all of our voters would agree with our judges?  Yeah, you read that right, our winners for July are Chiz-Chat and his The Bunker as well as Daniel Nest with Pulling the Plug.  Your normal editors (we aren't that normal) agree with the choices.  The stories were great and we're looking forward to next month!

And on to August!

Flash Fiction or Sudden Fiction is a writing style that is characterized by:

- Brevity - there is no established limit in most circles but shorter than a short story.

- Containing many classic story elements - protagonist, conflict, obstacles, and resolution.

What makes this contest different from other Flash Fiction competitions you may ask?


There's a good chance that some of our writers have written in this style, but many of us have not. Nothing says well-rounded writer like getting out of your comfort zone. (or Keg Party!) As self-proclaimed amateurs, we aren't going to feel bad competing against each other, right? If we get a few ringers crashing the party, so be it, then we'll challenge them to hang in the Starting Lineup.

So we have to have some rules.
  1. Gotta start with the line we give you.
  2. No more than 500 words. (we don't intend to count each and every word, but if we do keep it under 500)
  3. New (you'll have almost a month to write and post) Original (non-pornographic) Fictional work.
  4. Lastly and in keeping with the mission statement, you gotta be a dude.
Now, judging will be done by popular vote, we're thinking 1 winner. There will also be the usual editorial review, and our hope is to again get a panel of guest judges. Likely 4 Dudes will walk away with a brand new Dude Write Man Card.

Oh Yeah.

It's legend...

wait for it...

Dairy! (hope you're not lactose intolerant)

Stories will be judged on Wow Factor! Judges will be looking for stories that have some of the elements of a classic story. Keep in mind that leaving some things to the imagination of the reader is desirable in this style. The more punch in the less lines the better.

As always our Dude-tra (like a mantra, only better) :

Read (as many as you can), Tweet (and/or comment on the ones you like), and Vote (for your favorite...that isn't yours).

These stories will be no longer than 500 words, it should be easy to read them as they post. Need more help, try starting at Writing World.

Here is this month's starting sentence.

"Never one to turn down a dare..."

You'll have a single vote when it comes to that time.  Pick your favorite.

You won't get penalized for having an introductory paragraph to let your obviously bewildered readers know why you've lost your written mind and are entering this most awesome of contests, perhaps you can italicize it like this one. This paragraph isn't part of the 500 words above.