Flash Contest Format


Writing challenges, flash fiction, interesting anecdotes, amusements, and general miscellanea.

Moderator: Editors

How do you prefer the Flash Challenge stories to be posted

Poll ended at July 08, 2018, 02:52:30 AM

1) with the name of the author on each story?
1
17%
2) anonymously, with the author revealed after the voting?
5
83%
 
Total votes : 6
User avatar

Poetry Editor

Posts: 529

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Emerald City, Oz

Post June 24, 2018, 02:52:30 AM

Flash Contest Format

Hi folks

I'm looking at the structure of the Flash Challenges. These have been run a couple of ways in the past, either with the author named when the story goes up, or names withheld until after the voting. I personally prefer the anonymous approach, because I think it adds to the fun, trying to work out who wrote what, but that's just me.

What does the Hive say?
KNEEL before Zod!
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 3243

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kaukauna, Wisconsin (USA)

Post June 24, 2018, 10:44:55 AM

Re: Flash Contest Format

I like it anonymous, but that should be no surprise, since that's the way I always did it. Doesn't mean the other way is wrong, of course.

Participation is more important than the particulars.
Hardcover, paperback, pdf, eBook, iBook, Nook, and now Kindle & Kobo!
Image
A cooperative effort between 17 Aphelion authors. No part of any sales go to Aphelion.

Master Critic

Posts: 1226

Joined: June 05, 2011, 02:05:03 AM

Post June 24, 2018, 12:04:24 PM

Re: Flash Contest Format

Writers are the representation of the human nature. The leading edge of emotions. The prow of dialogue. Scouts of a civilization advancing and declining.

Writers are happy, moody, sad, crazy, intelligent, stupid, biased, neutral... basically they express in writing what is truly the human condition.

Now. Saying all the (censored) words above. They are also herd animals. Choosing their favorite watering hole, favorite food, favorite sexual identity... Most writers write in similar fashion making identity easy for readers to identify. Yet, some writers can be multiple identities and wear the cloak of obscurity. Alias's. Tweaking style and words. These types of writers are excellent.

Still, I'm in the camp of having such challenges being anonymous until after the readers decide for themselves if what they are reading is worthy of consideration.

For example: My name is President Trump and I just wrote this - "Spot the dog chased after the ball."

Because I just let the reader know my name is Trump, many readers will gag and say that "Spot the dog chased after the ball." was the worst piece of writing ever read.

Now, on the other side: My name is President Obama and I just wrote this - "Spot the dog chased after the ball." Holy (censored)!!! That's the best bit of writing ever to grace the words of man!

So, anonymous is best for the best results of judgement. Personal bias is just too prevalent in today's society.

Also. As to format of the contest. I enjoy the 1000 words or less. I hate 'The End' on every story. Why have the end when the end is obvious?

Also. I firmly believe in no barriers of language or adult situations. If anyone actually believes a two-year old logs on to a computer, finds a website like Aphelion. Clicks on the forums and reads stories where a (censored is censoring a censored censore) then that two-year old is no different than all those other 'children' in today's world of smart phones, video games, and life.

I mean, just look at how they are teaching very young children about oral sex, cucumbers on condoms, but... yeah, ranting a bit but society is truly hypocritical with thoughts of children and what they do. And for a further example of what children do, my neighbors 11 year old son plays 'fingers under the blanket' on the school bus with a local ranchers daughter only a few years older. And so it is.

Anyway. I like the challenges. I admire those who volunteer to run them. And that's my input regarding flash contests. Oh, and since the word, 'flash' connates the idea of fast. How about having a challenge where there is a premise and a 24 hour window to submit and another 24 hours to vote? I know it would be hell for a volunteer to push all that through but maybe have open submissions where people did submit using their real name or alias or whatever... Let the thread become alive with editor oversight to keep the crazies and hate out of it.

Master Critic

Posts: 857

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Johnstown, Pa.

Post June 26, 2018, 08:36:35 AM

Re: Flash Contest Format

I like the anonymous approach since it doesn't give the read a clue about the author. However, the author's style might come through but that will be minimal.
Tesla Lives!!!
User avatar

Poetry Editor

Posts: 529

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Emerald City, Oz

Post July 05, 2018, 07:37:42 AM

Re: Flash Contest Format

The Tribe has spoken! (Well, five of them have) :)
KNEEL before Zod!

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2511

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Mass, USA

Post July 07, 2018, 11:42:45 AM

Re: Flash Contest Format

Well now, we officially have The Individual vs The Hive!

Game Show Host please take it away!

"Against the Anonymous", time marches on. To try to BOTH develop a voice and then make sure *that voice never appears again* ... feels like it runs counter to most of writing!

It varyingly leads to some combo of:
1. "Throwaway stories, so we by definition should not care about the character because She/It/He can never appear again, or the same world , or the same literary style, or any research, or ...

2. I had a conversation with my brother, he's smarter than I am! And we rehashed a piece of Childhood wherein he could just smash out a paper and have it nearly automatically be B+ or higher.

Then he met a certain teacher he is due to visit in Europe next month, who gave him one of his only F's in his life for such a paper. Why? Because he spent no work on it. So it was solid, but ... in the Writer-esque words of a certain chess program and one pause added by me:

"There is .... no more."

- -------
(Intro in the style of Arthur C. Clarke RIP)

Meanwhile over in Writer's Workshop, a lonely and forlorn character with WAY Too Much Dopamine has been doing its very best to Love the World, and usually getting laughed at.

But I am fond of a nickname he gave me, and yet this week had another episode of Fighting for the Rights of the Lost, and this week he put his very best effort forward, using up weeks worth of failing creative powers all in one go, just to be noticed.

And Charcoal Beak did.

And so, that Story Idea has been "Escorted Here" ... for whichever level of Escort you wish to daydream of ... for our unsung writer daydreams of many, ... You owe me one for this fella.

Here we go. Start the Clock.

- ----------------------------

THIS spawned:

A certain rat, that is. Or, Half-Rat. Her mother was actually a mouse, but her Sire came from the Bloodline of Rat Legend. Sire himself, was none other than the Rat Who Sang, the Cybernetic songs of Rat and Dragon, as depicted and Annotated by the Great Scribe Cordwainer Smith. Uncle Joe was the brother of one of Harry Harrison's Rats, but he was much gentler, and opened a restaurant in Brooklyn.

But because Rat Genes are dominant, but the Mouse Quantity of genes was greater, Clarisse ran afoul of the Gattaca laws and subcultures. She both hated to lie and lying on medical tests was severly punished, so she opted for more indirect means, such as somehow never completing some of them, or having them performed in places with utterly run down equipment.

But it was Apartheid done 2257 Style. So she "socially" decided to change species.

But her genetic split was also *very nearly* even, some 47-53%, and those 47% Rat Genes, from TWO stellar bloodlines, packed a wallop. Gorgeous fur. Cavernous chest cavity. A Singer's Larynx. And with just the right about of aggressive vowel and consonant shifts on the accent, "Claurance", to nestle the phrase in the throat, "Looked like a man, Sounded like a man, and Knew men..." ... who are the satisfied lovers to tell you otherwise?!

But it was a War on Genetic Pollution, and the overlords were known as Hawks now, as then. Some linguistic pundit began calling the Tit-Mice "Meadow Fairies". Who was Linnaeus to know how slang would develop nearly four centuries after his time?

But Former Presidential candidate (write-in) N'gube Wheeler, took up the cause of Gen-Mods. He somehow got the name "the Ogre Under the Porch" from some smashup of Twich.tv memes merged to form a Tier 1 Sub Emote on Former President Obama's LiveStream.

On March 15, 2257, some student in Idina Menzel's History of Broadway class partied too hard pretending it was Halloween and decided it was a good idea to do Wheelies on a skateboard off the University Library steps while dressed like the green witch from Wicked. He got to Know Claurance, and while passionately licking his ear, he failed to notice an approaching Genetic Enforcement officer's vehicle.

But such were Claurance's Powers of Persuasion, he Whipped Out ... a Big Mac Microphone and a VGER camera, popped two Chinatown Dragon Pills in honor of father, and Flash-Streamed the best Love Scene in six hundred years -

... On March 15, 2257.
... Outside a Library.
... On Twitch.

Pornographic Shakespeare Emotes ensued. Speculation has it the Officer got caught up with a side show of Groupies and retired from the Hawk Force to become a live action star.

As as for Claurance?

He Saw, He Came, and so he Conquered. And using Holo-Glass Technology, was Known to all, and he Loved them back, with his Final Emote.

- ---------------------------
User avatar

Poetry Editor

Posts: 529

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Emerald City, Oz

Post July 08, 2018, 07:03:37 AM

Re: Flash Contest Format

TaoPhoenix wrote: You owe me one for this fella.

Nope. Yer not pinning this one on me. I just work here...
KNEEL before Zod!

Master Critic

Posts: 1226

Joined: June 05, 2011, 02:05:03 AM

Post July 08, 2018, 06:44:07 PM

Re: Flash Contest Format

Great story Tao. The parasite is off (censored) dolphins in Florida today but sent smoke signals saying it hopes your feathers suffer from premature ignition. I'm kinda hoping it gets caught in a rip-tide, but knowing it, it does indeed seem to possess a unique survival skill.

And Iain, a stupid question on my part, why do the stories and such have to have 'the end' at the end?
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 3243

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kaukauna, Wisconsin (USA)

Post July 08, 2018, 09:05:11 PM

Re: Flash Contest Format

Lipinski wrote:And Iain, a stupid question on my part, why do the stories and such have to have 'the end' at the end?

Because putting "The End" at the beginning would just be confusing. Duh. :P

Just kidding. Well, I can't speak for which traditions Iain will follow, but I can tell you why I started doing it in the challenges oh, so many years ago. It was to make sure there was no mistake about where one writer's work ended and another began, especially in that the stories would be posted in one long post without any bylines on them. I didn't want there to be even a chance that a writer could misunderstand and think another author was taking or being given credit for something someone else wrote, because obviously those authors technically owned those words they wrote. It also lets a humble editor know they got the whole story submitted (which connects to the last point of the following paragraph).

The next logical question would be why then was "The End" included when the stories reposted later? In part, tradition. Also because after the authors included it to meet the rules, it was part of their work and needed to be posted as a part of their piece. But mostly it was because there are a lot of flash stories that stop suddenly, leaving the reader to draw their own conclusion, and if a reader doesn't get the author's intent, they can easily think a part of the story is missing.
Hardcover, paperback, pdf, eBook, iBook, Nook, and now Kindle & Kobo!
Image
A cooperative effort between 17 Aphelion authors. No part of any sales go to Aphelion.

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2511

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Mass, USA

Post July 09, 2018, 09:35:09 AM

Re: Flash Contest Format

Wormtongue wrote:
TaoPhoenix wrote: You owe me one for this fella.

Nope. Yer not pinning this one on me. I just work here...


Heh Not you! You're safe!

Robin Lipinski's "Parasite"!

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2511

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Mass, USA

Post July 09, 2018, 09:36:06 AM

Re: Flash Contest Format

Lipinski wrote:Great story Tao. The parasite is off (censored) dolphins in Florida today but sent smoke signals saying it hopes your feathers suffer from premature ignition. I'm kinda hoping it gets caught in a rip-tide, but knowing it, it does indeed seem to possess a unique survival skill.

And Iain, a stupid question on my part, why do the stories and such have to have 'the end' at the end?


We could go with the French "Finis"!

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 2511

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Mass, USA

Post July 09, 2018, 09:46:25 AM

Re: Flash Contest Format

kailhofer wrote:
Lipinski wrote:And Iain, a stupid question on my part, why do the stories and such have to have 'the end' at the end?

Because putting "The End" at the beginning would just be confusing. Duh. :P

Just kidding. ...


Aaaand .. too much coffee-vanilla protein shakes produced this thought fragment before I had to shut it down.

- ------

"The End. This is a story about the End, the end of it all.

But maybe I had better start at the beginning, which is the end of the story, but the beginning of the sequence, of the tale of the Time Mage, who lived Backwards. So his End is also your Beginning, but he met Tuck Everlasting for tea along the way. Tuck also had a beginning, and was well read in H. G. Wells. He remarked that H. G. Wells was the Begining of Modern Scifi, but the Internet has the WayBack Machine, which produces links which once also had a beginng, then met their end, but now are available again.

Oh, My. All of that is neither the Beginning, nor the End. Or comprehensible. Right.

In the Beginning, there was the Time Mage, who Lived Backward..."

The Beginning.

Master Critic

Posts: 1226

Joined: June 05, 2011, 02:05:03 AM

Post July 09, 2018, 09:53:24 AM

Re: Flash Contest Format

The end, to finis... lead to the mind thinking...Deeba deeba, that's all folks! like on the old cartoons they used to show on television.

I now see the reasoning behind 'the end' as how the threads are portrayed. But, just like a plastic five gallon bucket showing how a kid is not supposed to stick their head in or risk drowning, or the labeling of plastic that it will suffocate a person if sticking the bag over their head... I feel society is steered too much regarding common sense.

"Warning: this posting may cause long periods of uncontrollable bowel functions if read before consuming ten cups of coffee. Side effects of reading this post include nausea, giggles, eye blinking, inhalation of air, exhaling of air, gas, acne... and if you drank ten cups of coffee you may experience the urge to climb a mountain, ride a bicycle around the world, or lead to the addiction of eating bagels covered in cream cheese and pickles..."
User avatar

Editor Emeritus

Posts: 3243

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Kaukauna, Wisconsin (USA)

Post July 09, 2018, 09:25:58 PM

Re: Flash Contest Format

Lipinski wrote:I now see the reasoning behind 'the end' as how the threads are portrayed. But, just like a plastic five gallon bucket showing how a kid is not supposed to stick their head in or risk drowning, or the labeling of plastic that it will suffocate a person if sticking the bag over their head... I feel society is steered too much regarding common sense.

Oh, I agree about being steered too much in terms of common sense.

However, about those warning labels, my wife studied about them when she was learning to be a paralegal. She told me that in every case where you see a warning label on a product it is because someone was actually horribly injured and/or killed in that manner. Manufacturers are not allowed to put pre-emptive warnings, believe it or not (as I understand it).

The real case of that lady burned by the McDonalds coffee was much, much more on the woman's side than McD's lawyers and marketing dept. presented it to America. The show "Adam Ruins Everything" did a whole segment on it.
Hardcover, paperback, pdf, eBook, iBook, Nook, and now Kindle & Kobo!
Image
A cooperative effort between 17 Aphelion authors. No part of any sales go to Aphelion.

Master Critic

Posts: 1226

Joined: June 05, 2011, 02:05:03 AM

Post July 10, 2018, 12:34:55 AM

Re: Flash Contest Format

I heard the same thing, which reminds me of a saying, 'if it has been thought of, it has been tried...' Yikes! Having personal 'relations' with a porcupine while wearing an empty five gallon plastic pail on the head and wearing shoes with untied laces...while having a midget wrap the whole scene in saran wrap (or empty plastic bread sacks)

Your post reminded me that people have been killed or seriously hurt in the most amazing of ways. Thus, that thought lead me to remember a series of books I do enjoy reading, Darwin Awards.

Thank goodness people make crazy decisions, it makes for excellent writing inspiration!
User avatar

Poetry Editor

Posts: 529

Joined: December 31, 1969, 08:00:00 PM

Location: Emerald City, Oz

Post July 18, 2018, 01:45:50 AM

Re: Flash Contest Format

kailhofer wrote:Manufacturers are not allowed to put pre-emptive warnings, believe it or not (as I understand it).

Which often causes my mind to boggle when I see some warning labels...
KNEEL before Zod!

Return to Fun and Games

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.