This is an update on one of my favorite weekly events – the Liberty Hall Flash challenge. Liberty Hall is a website hosted (kindly) by Mike Munsil, who has set up a long running system of challenges and motivational boards for speculative fiction writers(the sister site for literary writing is ShowMeYourLits). The software is a bit glitchy at times, and sometimes the website is slow. But I have been consistently entering challenges since August of 2010. In fact, Liberty Hall is where I cut my teeth as a writer (hah, I’m still cutting my teeth).
Usually I stick with the flash challenges, although I’ve managed a few short story challenges and entered some work in the Polish challenge (where we enter something we think is ready to submit but want polishing help & opinions. That one makes me nervous!
The flash challenges are fun and I have learned to pound out a story in far less than the 90 minutes allotted – which gives me time at the start to brainstorm, and time (sometimes) at the end to brush it up. But I have relaxed about letting people see my rough drafts – and enjoyed finding out when I have the germ of something good. The crits are brief, but usually everyone tries to find something of value in the draft stories, and often that can help trigger a new direction or new idea.
My “inventory” is bulging! I’m leaning heavily on Write1Sub1 to get me to polish the flashes up and send them out.
Do you like external motivators or do you rely on yourself?