That whiny blog post? Forget it.

I was going to post something whiny today about how "Brazilian Whacks" flopped, and how nobody understood what I was trying to do with that FridayFlash, and how I suck, and how I'm just a no-talent fraud, and boo hoo hoo.

Well, bullshit. All that self-indulgent whining not only is inaccurate, it misses the point. Some people got it, many people didn't. Some people liked it, many people didn't. Even if nobody found anything in it to like, I wrote it for a purpose. Unlike the straight L.O.C.K. approach I've been following in recent months, this was an experiment in projecting an atmosphere. That worked to my satisfaction, at least in some important ways. If it hadn't worked at all, I wouldn't have posted it.

Part of the problem in writing the way I do is that some of the stories are horror tales of human sacrifice, others are lit fic, i.e. explorations and projections of emotion that look a lot like people sitting around and not much happening.

Still, I've come to the conclusion that lit fic isn't too well suited for flash. In something like "House of Mirth", thousands and thousands of words are devoted to people sitting around considering happiness, satisfaction and the lack thereof. However, there's also seductions, blackmail, bankruptcy and suicide. It takes a while to fit all those pieces together, more than a flash allows.

An experiment is only a failure if you don't learn anything from it. So, screw it, I'm calling "Brazilian Whacks" a success.

===== Feel free to comment on this or any other post.


  1. Quit whining. It was beautiful, poetic even. Don't worry about whether it was good for flash or not. You can't please everyone all the time and that's okay. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. It was a great piece.

  2. I may be in the minority in that I very much enjoy literary fiction, where the focus is on the language and the subtlities of the story, rather than on the action. A story doesn't need to have a huge extenal conflict or a twist at the end to be enjoyable or entertaining.

    I just finished Brazilian Whacks, and I really enjoyed it. I thought you did good.

  3. I liked it very much ... if people don't get it, they won't, and there's zip you can do about it.

    We had this discussion in microcosm on Twitter -- the upcoming zombiepocolypse interests me not at all, and I know I don't get more readers because I don't write what's "popular". You were the one who told me to be true to the story and not worry about whether people "liked" it. It's good advice and you should take it too.

  4. On the other hand, I was looking forward to a good old whiney post since I, ahem, have been much guilty of that of late!
    I'm with Laurita on the literary stuff. To me it's always a cut above everything else.

  5. Ladies, I thank you all. I wrote that story to be like a slow acting poison, not a gunshot. I will listen to all of you (and listen to my own advice, via Janet) and be true to the story. It could have had more razzle dazzle with a fight scene or a kidnapping or a car bomb. That's not what it was about.

    I wrote the story the way it wanted to be written, and that's that.

  6. I wrote the story the way it wanted to be written, and that's that.

    Doing anything else would have been wrong. I was in the "liked it" half, though, so maybe I'm biased. But I do disagree that lit fic can't work in flash. Indeed, I think that's where it works best. A lot of us push the envelope to fit plot, action, characters, all in 1000 words or less (or slightly more), but the story can be enjoyable even if we have to skimp (or skip) on some of those elements.

    For me, lit fic works best when short. I mean, write a flash story about a day's struggle for survival after the apocalypse and that's going to be an interesting read. Make it a 70,000 word novel of the same thing and it's tedious. Make it 100,000 words and you get The Road.

  7. Tony, I went back through and re-read the story and comments. I realize I'm in the didn't get/ didn't like crowd, but I don't think that that's necessarily bad. De gustibus non est disputandum, right?

    You did write a great atmosphere, and you gave a strong sense of character, but since nothing more happened you lost me. If I was your sole audience, that would be a problem, but I'm not. Some of your SciFi/Horror stories, particularly with the twists I adore. But I know there are a lot of folks who wouldn't enjoy it because of the genre.

    We talked about this once, but I am not so much a schooled writer as I am an instinctual one. I'm still not so good with semi-colons, but I know there are times when I feel the words need a pause longer than a comma, but shorter than a period, and I'll throw it in. In other words, I ain't not no your target audience.

    For good or for bad, if I think of "Brazilian Whacks" as story, I think it fails. If I think of it as a prose poem, for lack of a better descriptor, I think it succeeds brilliantly.

    The awesome thing about #FridayFlash, is as you work on your novel, you'll have those skills of subtly creating mood, characters, and place; and you'll be able to gracefully blend it into the action. (There I go with the semicolon again, too!)

    I may be in the didn't get it/ didn't like it camp, but I am glad you wrote it, and I am just as glad that I read it. Perhaps that's the most important?


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