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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Flash Fiction Friday FAQ!

The Flash Fiction Friday FAQ

So you want to know about Flash Fiction Friday, eh? Maybe somebody sent you a link and curiosity got the better of you. Maybe you saw a FFF post from one of the people who play along each week. Maybe you just stumbled in here during your web-wanderings. Whatever the reason, I'm happy you dropped by!

Flash Fiction Friday was originally the idea of (and hosted by) a fellow who went by the handle of "Spanky". Spanky is AWOL these days (we haven't seen him in months) so since he disappeared, FFF was hosted by many different people. This is my effort to get things organized again.

Q. What is Flash Fiction Friday and why should I bother?
A.  Flash Fiction Friday, or FFF for short, is a weekly blog prompt, or writing exercise, or story time. However you want to look at it, the results are the same. Here's how it works:

At the beginning of each week (usually Monday morning), I choose a photo and post it here on my site and on the Erotic Flash Fiction site, as the weekly Challenge. The Challenge post includes both the photo and the week's word length requirements.

If you like the challenge and decide you want to play along, then you just drop by my site anytime after 12:01 AM on that Friday. I post my own take on the pic at 12:01 AM on Friday, along with a widget that allows you to leave a link to your site (or a direct link to your story) in the body of the post.

So why play along? You get some exercise for your writing muscles, get to look at some cool and interesting photos or artwork, and all the players get more exposure to their blog. Everyone wins!

Q. What's this about word length?
A. Ah, that's where the "Flash Fiction" bit comes in. Each week's challenge has a word length requirement. The requirements vary from week to week depending on how I'm feeling, and could be anywhere from "50 to 250 words" to "exactly 168 words" to "no more than 200 words". Generally they are kept very short, otherwise it wouldn't be flash fiction.

No, I'm not a word count Nazi. This is just for fun. I like to say that if you break the word counts you'll get a spanking, though, and some participants do it just for that reason. :)

Q. Who picks the pics? You? Can I send in this cool photo I found?
A. I choose most of the pictures myself but you're certainly welcome to send one along to me. Leave it in a comment to one of the FFF entries, or email it to me:  insatiabear [AT] gmail (dot) com. If I find it interesting I'll probably use it!

If you're curious about some of the past photos, use the tag-search tool on the right-hand menu here to search my prior FFF entries. All the FFF entries are tagged with "Flash Fiction Friday".

Q. Are there any buttons or graphics to promote this?
A. I'm so glad you asked. Here's a button for you. Many of the participants tend to include it at the end of their FFF posts. Some choose to have the button link to this FAQ page, others link it to that week's challenge post, still others link it to my Friday aggregation post with everyone else's links. Your choice.

If you want the code for the banner, use the following:
<div style="text-align: center;"><a href=""><img border="1" src="" alt="Flash Fiction Friday!" border="1"/></a></div>

Q. I participated this week, but I didn't see my name on the list of participants in your post on Friday! What gives?
A.  I used to gather the list of participants via email or comments each week, but collecting it that way was a tremendous amount of work for me because participants would forget to provide their link, or tell me late on Friday afternoon after I'd already put up my post and the participants list, or get upset with me because I linked to their main page and not directly to their story, or any number of other irritations. I'm now using an automated widget that allows you to leave your own link in the body of my post, so the link will appear however you choose it to.

This does mean, however, that you have to stop by each Friday and leave your link. If you don't, nobody knows you're playing, unless they already happen to follow your site. But part of the fun is getting new readers who might not otherwise know about you, so make sure you stop by each Friday and let everyone know you're participating by leaving your link!

Q. Can I participate if I don't have a blog?
A.  Well, you're welcome to send me your stories by email and I'll read and enjoy 'em, but I don't have the time to post other folks' stories. I just host the challenge and collect links to the blogs of all the participants. Maybe you'll find that you enjoy it enough that you decide to set up your own blog! There are plenty of sites out there that offer free blog tools and services; Blogger and Wordpress seem to be the most popular.

Q. I thought of another question that's not listed here!
A. Good for you! But that's not a question.

Q. Oh. Can I ask you a question that's not listed here?
A. Of course. Just send me an email (insatiabear [AT] gmail (dot) com) or leave a comment on any of my entries here. I read and respond to all comments although on busy days it may be some time before I answer.

-- The


Warren Bobrow said...

I would like to submit some writing, what is your method of submission?

Cheers! wb

The Panserbjørne said...

Warren: It's a bit late to join in for this Friday, but I'd be glad to have you join the group for next week! On Monday I post the challenge photo here on my site and at the Erotic Flash Fiction site. If you like the photo and want to participate, leave a comment on either of the challenge posts, or send me an email letting me know. Make sure you include the URL to your own site. I'll add you to the list of participants. Then on that Friday, post your take on the photo on your own site and say hi to the newcomers that stop by to welcome you!

-- PB

Anonymous said...


I would love to play next Friday. My blogsite for stories is

I also write on Literotica, and am looking for new ways to stretch my writing. Looking forward to playing.


The Panserbjørne said...


Don't be too sure until you've seen Monday's photo! It may be something completely against your character. :) But I do like having new participants any time. Just let me know if you're still playing after you see the entry on Monday.

-- PB