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August 26, 2009

A weepy mess

Over the past months, I have taken part in a flash fiction competition. This past weekend, we just completed the third of a potential four rounds.

The basis of the contest is this, you are assigned a genre, a location and an object and you have 48 hours to write a 1,000 word story. The time pressure and adhering to the assignment make it both difficult and delicious.

Part of what makes this particular flash fiction contest my favorite is that the organizers provide a forum for contestants. Once they have confirmed they have received your entry, you are allowed to post your story and let your fellow writers give you a review.

It takes about a month for the official judges to finish their work, so these peer reviews are so amazing and valuable and certainly help pass the time while we wait for results.

I have read a wide range of stories on the review forum, in a wide range of genres. Genres I might not normally read, actually.

I've read well-written stuff, questionable stuff, and downright awful stuff. But this particular group of writers is so supportive and encouraging, that you can post something not-so-good and you'll get helpful, useful feedback.

I look forward to getting the chance to read these freshly minted stories. At one thousand words a pop, they are quick hits. I'm always startled at how much story we amateur writers can cram into such a tiny space.

This is the second year of the contest, and there is a group of us that have been there from the start. It's great to watch us grow in our skills.

Today, one of my peers, one who has been there from the first, posted a story of such amazing beauty and so well wrought, that I was left a weepy, sniffling mess here at my desk at work.

I don't care if the author is professional, rank amateur, or somewhere in between. You know good writing when you read it.

I'm just stunned at the story this person has created. She had exactly the same amount of time I did to write this story and all the same constraints but she has crafted a piece that runs *circles* around my entry.

I am humbled. And you know what, that makes me want to work harder.

I would link to the story, but I don't have permission. Also, the story may not hit you the same way it did me. Writing is so subjective, what works doesn’t work for everyone.

I guess the point of my post was just to vent out what I'm feeling. Moved. Humbled. Determined.

And resolved to keep working harder at this art that baffles me, drives me nutty and give me passion.

Here I go....

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Creative Commons License
All content of Oh Fair New Mexico by Karen Fayeth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.