Limitations seem to bring out the best in me. Deadlines. Budgets. Whatever it is, having limitations of some type tends to inspire creativity. And so it is with writing. A couple of years ago there was this amazing thing called Ficlets. It was shuttered last year by AOL, but the idea was you could write short pieces of stories and others could continue them. You were limited to 1,024 characters per story. This limitation completely changes the way you write. How do you get a story kicked off and make it interesting in 1,024 characters? The great part is, you begin to write stories and you strive to make sure every piece is interesting. If I were writing an entire novel, I can guarantee there would be some slow points. I’ve noticed the same effect from Twitter. Only having 140 characters turns one into a very good editor.
Thankfully the people behind Ficlets came to the rescue last summer with Ficly. It functions almost exactly like Ficlets and is a growing community of writers. I’ve found it to be an interesting exercise before I begin any real writing to write a quick entry on Ficly. Whether an original one or a continuation of someone else’s story, it always gets the creative gears going.
Let me know if you write anything on Ficly so I can check it out. You can see all my work here.