Minister's Study

Ministering, writing, and wrestling in a land flowing with sweet tea and deep-fried food

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Not there yet

Not at the point of being able to write consistently good fiction on demand, anyhow.

After my win in last week's flash challenge, I strolled into this one feeling pretty good. I deliberately wrote historical fiction again, because that's really been working well for me. And the week after writing one of my best flashes ever, I turned in one of my worst ever. Of course, it suffers in the commenting by people who don't know the history involved, which I researched as I wrote, including details (oh, I definitely still had an error or two that have to go). This happens every time I write historical fiction; people have a lot of misconceptions (and I usually share those misconceptions right up until I do the research for the story.) But the real fault is just that this one just wasn't very well written. Ah, well. Just shows I need more practice, I guess, like anything else. Being able to make a basket once doesn't make you a great basketball shooter. Being able to shoot well consistently, game after game -- that means you're a good shot.


At 9:00 PM, Anonymous Isaiah said...

The fact that you even attempt historical fiction with a 90 minute time limit is impressive in itself.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Minister said...

I still haven't decided if it's easier or harder than trying to completely invent a setting in the 90 minutes. It seems to work well for me in general; my hisfic stories tend to do well in the voting. But I always have trouble with readers who a) don't know as much about the time period, and therefore criticize historical points that are actually accurate and b) know more about the time period and actually do catch me in mistakes. At least when you write scifi or fantasy flash, the setting just has to be internally consistent, and you can use whatever terminology you want pretty much. Downside is, you have to invent it all yourself on the spot.

At 4:28 PM, Blogger Sadeq said...

I've done the hisfic thing a couple times. I found it easier to do quick research on, for instance, the fall of Constantinople than to think up a believable scifi world and than write about it. With hisfic, you have some expectation that the reader is at least somewhat familiar with your world. Scifi and fantasy require you to detail your world and tell your story, all in 90 minutes.

At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Isaiah said...

Yeah, I suppose every genre has its pros and cons. I've never actually attempted historical fiction, so it seems very daunting to me.


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