Ever on the lookout for blogging inspiration–no matter what bush it peeks out of–this Facebook exchange with my writerly friend, Brittany Larson, has a good feel to it. Blog-worthy, I believe. From a random interaction amongst the social media bushes: Making Flash Fiction Your Bitch.
Brittany: HEY! I need some advice on some writing!
Lucas: Ok. I’ve got a few minutes. What’s up?
Brittany: Well I have this story idea swirling around my head about the 3 Archangels Micheal (The Angel Of Mercy) Gabriel (The Messenger Angel) And Azrael (The Angel of Death) And they are all fallen. And Iwas thinking Gabriel and Micheal stay faithful to God while Azreal goes rogue. He makes a deal with the devil that’s simple Bring me Rachel (My girl protagonist) and I will make you more powerful than God. God appears to Micheal and Gabriel and says stop him and you’re back in heaven. And I am thinking that Micheal will be my main male protagonist (Gabriel more as support) so what happens when Micheal falls in love with Rachel and doesn’t wanna go back to Heaven. Something along those lines. So the first question is: sound good? And also I don’t know if I wanna just start writing now or save it for NaNo.
Lucas: Is this a story you will try to market to agents/publishers? I only ask because a few months back many were groaning about the massive amount of “Angel” stories: fallen ones falling in love with a human. There are a lot of those on the market already. So, it’s a trope the pros don’t much care for anymore.
Brittany: Yeah…see I am not too sure. I am thinking. Truly I have never made it even far enough to think about sending it to publishers.
Lucas: A twist would be good. Can they be fallen gods instead of angels? And love triangles are always sellable. Maybe one naughty god in love with your mortal, Rachel, but a second god in love with the first & fighting the matchup? Or, make them aliens, or zombies, or any other creature. Then you could go with the same basic plot without stepping into the Angels theme. If you’re not going to shop it, then just go with whatever the heck makes you happy as a writer!
Brittany: True…true. That would be interesting. And yeah…see I am still debating whether to just write it or save it for NaNo…because I mean I have it written down so I don’t forget it.
Lucas: You’ll have more ideas before Nano! It’s always good to keep writing. Like flexing your muscles to make you stronger.
Brittany: True true. And I sure hope so. This is the Biggest Aha! Moment I have had in a while. My Nano idea wasn’t this solid.
Lucas: Here’s a cool trick for discovering ideas that are novel worthy: just start with a flash fiction of your story. Write out a key scene in 1000 words or less. Focus on using as little words as possible to convey setting, character, conflict.
Brittany: Thanks That really helps
Lucas: Still have the story arc of intro, conflict, climax, closure. This helps me weed out ideas as either long-running or short lived. If the idea feels “done” or exorcised, then cool. You have a flash fiction story. But, if you find the character’s voice and keep thinking about his/her life, then it’s time to plot for a longer work: short story, novella, novel.
Brittany: Yeah. Thanks for the advice
Lucas: You’re welcome, yo. Mind if I post this interaction on my blog in a few days? “I’d rather not” is an acceptable response. 😉
Brittany: Oh that’s fine. I really don’t care…I mean it wasn’t personal or anything:)
Lucas: I can keep you anonymous or remove/summarize your novel idea if you’d like.
Brittany: No it’s fine…put in as much detail as you’d like. I’m not shy.
Lucas: Done! Do you have a blog or Twitter account I can link to? Such things often bring you new followers.
So, let’s get Brittany some new followers.
And, let’s get to using Flash Fiction as a test-run for those awesome ideas we keep coming up with. It tests their mettle, and keeps us flexing those writing muscles. Better to weed out the losers before we invest a half a novel’s worth of time before discovering they suck. Also, our writerly friends are awesome sounding boards for our new concepts. They can often spot holes, provide useful feedback, and tune us in to stuff they’ve stumbled upon in the publishing world but we have not.
Now, you know one of the secret tools I use to tame my overzealous ideas. What do you think? Is it worth slipping into your own bag of tricks?
Reporting from the bushes, this is Lucas, signing off.