Category: Ficlets

The Return of Ficly

Ficly (formerly “Ficlets”) is back – and better than ever.

I wouldn’t have used this description over a year ago, but Ficly is like Twitter for fiction writers. And like Twitter, there is great freedom in restraint.

A long time ago, I followed a link recommendation from Wil Wheaton, which brought me to the most wonderful, awesome site for writers I’ve ever known: Ficlets.com (I won’t link because that site is now dead.) Ficlets restricted your story to a mere 1,024 characters, or a few brief paragraphs.

Some of the things you could do with it included prequel or sequel any author’s story and hopefully get a chain of different authors adding to one story; issue writing challenges; write your own little series; comment/rate stories (leading to one of the most instructive, constructive feedback sites I’ve used); use creative commons pictures from Flickr as inspiration for a story; use quotes or starters as inspiration.

A lot of fun packed into a neat little site. Ficlets (and the nifty Flickr inspiration) helped me break through a problem I have always had whenever I tried to write a long story – namely, I could never write anything longer than a short story.  But Ficlets helped me create a story, with characters I fell in love with and storylines galore. and with the help of being able to write brief sequels, I found myself with a workable outline that eventually grew into what I hope will be a book in the near future: CherryPopMcGee.com.

So I have a deep love for Ficlets. Imagine my dismay when I learned it woul be closing down. For reasons I won’t go into, the creator of the site was made to shut it down. Oh we had warning and most of us were able to save our stories – our babies really – before the last day.

And then, one day, came the word that he was rebuilding it. That he was taking his time to make the improvements he couldn’t make before. That he and a core group of people, out of the kindness of their hearts and love for the community they had originally built, were going to bring it back.

And after a very long wait, this weekend Ficlets returned with a new name, Ficly, a beautiful makeover, and a crowd of voracious writers ready to make it what it once was. As of this writing, already over 600 Ficlies have been written. To me, that is phenomenal and worthy of a visit, if writing is your thing 🙂 I give it the highest of recommendations I can give it.

Farewell to Ficlets (1.0 Anyway)

One of the best websites I ever discovered is ficlets.com. It’s a site that’s almost Twitter-like with its constraints. The idea was to write a little story but you were limited to 1,024 characters. That’s not much. The beauty of it was that other writers could prequel or sequel your story, or if you just couldn’t contain it in one ficlet, then you could create a serial.

The site totally re-energized my writing fever. I’d been in a slump, lacking the will to just get on with it. If you know me or have read this blog for a while, you’ll know that I would love to write a novel some day. But one thing or another comes up and I just get away from it.

Ficlets was amazing. It helped me focus. It taught me how to tell a story in a short space and forced me to get creative with imagery and word use. The generous and lovely feedback from an awesome community of Ficleteers helped me dream up the first idea I’ve ever had that I thought was actually viable as a novel-length story (I have trouble getting past short story stage.)

But the mastermind behind Ficlets had to leave the project and it was left to languish. Though he tried valiantly to save it from extinction, AOL refused to let development on it continue for whatever reason. Probably because it didn’t make them any money. (Do people really still use AOL?)

They are working on Ficlets-inspired site though, outside the AOL realm, and that makes me happy because I dearly loved that place. So I thought I’d post a few of the Ficlets I really liked here. The rest will be saved somewhere on my hard drive and maybe serve as future novel ideas 🙂 Oh and I often hear a song and dream up a story behind it, so a lot of my little ficlets were inspired by good tunes.

She

She is benediction

He caught a glimpse of her at the party. She moved with a liquid grace that called to mind a lithe tigress on the hunt. Her eyes scanned the room, searching for her prey and when her gaze fell on him, he shivered.

She is addicted to thee

She watched him throughout the night. The way he laughed with his friends, the tousled hair and dancing eyes; his elegant clothing doing little to hide the strength and cut of his body. She wanted him. She focused her attention only on him.

She is the root connection

He took every opportunity to watch her. Every time their eyes met, neither could look away without some distraction to tear them apart. An anxious host refilling their drinks, or potential suitors trying their luck on the handsome pair. He shook off the host and moved towards her.

She is connecting with he

The air fairly crackled with energy. He reached for her hand and drew her close. He whispered in her ear, “Have you called to check on the kids hon?”

The Last Journal of Major Tom

Oh God I’m going to die up here. Alone. Surrounded by so much silence it’s deafening. They never prepared me for the quiet.

They think I’m already gone. My wife, my children, the world… They’re mourning me right now. Would it be better or worse if they knew I was still alive? Probably worse. Impossible situation. There’s nothing they can do to save me. I’m stranded in this tin can. Infinite space and everything in it laid out before me and I’ve never felt so alone in my life.

It is beautiful though. Cathy my love… I hope you continue to look up at the stars like we did when we were kids. Remember what dreamers we were? Don’t look up and worry about me floating out here. I’ll… I’ll be gone.

I’m passing over the states honey, as I write this. It feels like I’m looking in on you and the kids one more time, making sure you’ll be okay. Don’t cry for me. The oxygen won’t last much longer and when it’s gone, it will be like going to sleep.

And I’ll go to sleep loving you with my last breath.

Goodbye.

The Strays

They marched into the neighbourhood with the pulse-pounding beat of a terrible rhythm. Hundreds of jack-booted soldiers poured in from every street, every alley. Restless eyes rolled in their sockets, searching for the strays that had eluded them.

Three children, filthy from a brief life of scrabbling for scraps huddled behind a dumpster. They whimpered quietly, unsure of where to hide but seeking the comfort of a barrier between them and the soldiers. Vague memories came to them of being tucked safely into their beds by beautiful women who filled them with love and safety. The memories only served to increase the terror now. Love and safety were gone, taken by the very soldiers who hunted them now.

The children felt them first. Waves of hatred infiltrated their natural defenses and permeated their minds. The soldiers had stopped their deadly march and stood still like dispassionate sentinels. As if they were one, they shut their eyes and pushed their energy outward.

The children cowered.

Mmmmmmm…

I looked at it carefully, suspiciously even. I’ve never tried this before. I’m unsure what my reaction will be. Will I like it? Will it disgust me? Will it be worth the price I paid?

Warily, I open my mouth. My eyes close and I begin to pass judgment on the first taste.

I’ve never felt such smoothness on my tongue. I immediately swirl it around and breathe deep. It slides and glides over my taste buds like a sensuous lover. As I slowly savour, the rich flavour infiltrates every crevice, every hidden corner of my mouth before slipping down my throat. It leaves a satisfying coolness behind like an echo. I shiver and offer up a slight smile and a satisfied, “Mmmmmm” to no one in particular, before taking more.

Another bite. Another burst of near-ecstasy. Another shiver.

I want more. I need more. So smooth. So rich.

But all too soon the little cup is empty and I’m resigned to licking the little foil top, wishing to lap up every molecule of that delicious chocolate pudding.

I’ve been Ficletized

I about keeled over laughing when I read this. A little exposition for those of you who don’t visit Ficlets – A writer put forth a challenge wherein other ficleteers have to describe a day in the life of a fellow ficleteer. Fun right? I entered but I took the easy route and did a day in the life of Wil Wheaton.

I was quite shocked to see my name as an entry in the challenge and after I read it I laughed my ass off. Dude pegged me perfectly!

In other Ficlet news, my CherryPop story has grown to 31 sequels now. Yikes! I’m taking a minibreak from it while I ponder where to take it next and also work on CherryPop’s blog. I’m trying to think of ways to get more traffic to it. The more I write the story in Ficlets and in the blog the more motivated I get to turn it into my first novel. But it would be nice to get a bit of a following too 🙂

Anyway, bedfordshire early tonight, I’m knackered.