Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursday Review: Flash Fiction Fest 2

Fake cover!

Coming this November is the 2nd Annual Flash Fiction Fest.  Last year's featured 3 writers (me, Neil Vogler, and Sean Craven) each writing about 23 flash fiction pieces for December House.  Three pieces were added to a website per day through most of November for people to read.  Then after that the stories were collected into an ebook, which you can still purchase.

Trip, er Trey the Wonder Dog!
Mercifully for me this year they only asked for 7 stories because they got more writers working on it.  Or at least I only did 7 stories.  They appropriately relate to the seven deadly sins.  Last year I pretty much just threw together any crazy idea that popped into my head that I could make into a story of 1000 words or less.  There were sci-fi pieces, fantasy pieces, a couple of schmaltzy pieces, and a couple attempts at comedy like "Trey the Wonder Dog" which was a parody of the life of Butler Blue III (aka Trip, short for Triple--get it?).  I didn't really find out until later that all of
Sean's stories were interconnected (loosely) and several of Neil's were as well.

This year, being lazy, I decided to do a 7-part interconnected story collectively called Mortal Sins.  And being really lazy I set it in the Scarlet Knight universe.  It doesn't really focus on the Scarlet Knight though.  Instead it focuses on a bank security guard named Seth.  If you ever saw the movie "Observe & Report" starring Seth Rogen (hence the character's name) it was about a really gung-ho security guard at a mall who thinks he's a total badass.  In this story Seth is pretty much the same way.

Then one day while he's in the john the bank gets robbed.  While he tries to heroically thwart the robbers, it's actually the Scarlet Knight who swoops in to save the day.  Naturally she gets all the credit.  This sets Seth on a dark spiral and an inevitable confrontation with the Scarlet Knight.

It took some thinking to come up with how to work all 7 sins in there.  First I had to go to Wikipedia and look up the 7 deadly sins because I'm not Catholic and I hadn't watched "Seven" in a really long time.  Then I had to think of some way to connect wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.  The hardest one was gluttony because really how could I work eating too much into what's supposed to be an action story?  You'll find out. 

Yesterday Tony Laplume was saying I come up with plot first; such is not always the case.  With this I came up with most of the character first to create a basic framework of how the sins should connect but I hadn't figured out entirely who the main character was yet.  Then I was driving home and saw a bank and thought, "Hey, why not a security guard?!"  The rest started to slide into place then.  I wrote the whole first draft on Fourth of July, most of it in a crummy old Arby's near where I live.

You don't need to have read any of the Scarlet Knight books to understand this story since she's a relatively minor character in terms of her onscreen presence.  It basically could have been any superhero or vigilante of any sort.  You probably don't remember earlier this month I talked about a miniseries called Lex Luthor, Man of Steel that focused the point of view on the bad guy and Superman had like 1 line in the whole thing.  It's sort of the same deal here where the point of view is Seth's and the Scarlet Knight gets only a few lines through all 7 stories; some of them she doesn't even appear in!  Of course if you have read the Scarlet Knight books you'll understand it better, especially things like who the Headmistress is--which comes from Volume 7 of the series.  The stories will begin to post on November 1, though I'm not sure when mine will be posting.  This year you can order the ebook straight off instead of waiting until December.  So then you don't have to wait for all that flashy goodness!

(Pro tip:  The publisher is British so make sure if you're in the US you don't buy it from an international site.  I did that by accident with one of their books that was on sale and then got nailed with like $2 in fees from my bank, so it ended up costing me more than if I'd just bought it from Amazon in the US.)

Anyway, get ready for that in November when most people are fretting about NanoWriMo and crap like that.  Incidentally this is the first year I'll be participating in the stupid NanoWriMo thing.  I figured November 1 was pretty much going to coincide with writing the third (probably final) Girl Power story anyway, so I might as well sign up and reap all that glory when I smoke all those losers who can't get to 50,000 words in a month.  I think I'll have to just try to go out of my mind to write 50,000 words that weekend, though it would be extremely difficult to do so.  Half that would be more feasible.


  1. You are a writer through and through. I marvel at your productivity.

  2. Michael beat me to it: you are a marvel of productivity.

  3. I'm not even sure what NaNo etc is although I have some idea

    Last week Tuesday I wrote a 33 page brief in about four hours. That's roughly 6,600 words. I figure I could do 50,000 words in a month, but that would make it seem like work.

    Then again, my average post is probably 2000 words.

    I like your story idea. It sounds like it could go either way: comic or dark. The problem with Rogen's movie was it tried to be both, which is really tough to pull off. (And he didn't.)

    I agree with Michael, and I'm glad you're still writing. You deserve more success, and if you keep writing you'll get it. I don't doubt that.

  4. Dude,

    You are certainly prolific. However, you getting involved in that NaNo thingy is. in my case, NaNo equals NoNo. Besides, I thought it was some goddam Mork from Ork tribute collaboration.

    I wish you a bit of success and more awareness, Pat.




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