How writing flash fiction helped me write a novel

Published February 7, 2017 by rochellewisoff

If you think that Friday Fictioneers is just a diversion for those who have nothing better to do, read this by Louise Jensen. 

fabricating fiction

the-sisterWhen I started writing in earnest two years ago I created this blog and stumbled across a weekly flash fiction challenge called Friday Fictioneers. A photo would be posted each week and participants were invited to use the prompt to create a hundred word story.

It sounded fun and a good way to kick off my blog. Writing the first story was difficult. It took me ages to edit it down to 100 words. It was nerve wracking sending my first story out into the world but if I’m honest, I didn’t expect anyone to read it, but read it they did. I was enveloped into a supportive writing community who have critiqued with kindness, encouraged and soothed every step of the way on my journey to publication, commiserating with every rejection and celebrating my first two novels hitting No. 1 on Amazon. I am so grateful to those bloggers…

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30 comments on “How writing flash fiction helped me write a novel

  • This is wonderful Rochelle and you and Louise are so right. When people ask why I ‘waste’ my time writing flash, I have to pull them up sharp – writing prompts (and especially Fictioneers) has been the best place to learn economy of language, how to create atmosphere, tone and a plot in 100 words. And the community here is the best around – so supportive and giving. A wonderful place to learn and to read great flash fiction too. I wouldn’t be without it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      • Dear Lynn and Honie,

        Economy of words…that’s the phrase I was groping for. 😉 I noticed a change in my writing once I became involved with Friday Fictioneers. I had to keep it going when the originator stepped down four years ago. I’ve never regretted my decision.
        Note- when pitching to agent or publisher this is a great exercise for learning how to write a synopsis. 😉

        Thank you both for commenting.




  • Whenever I write I chant your mantra – Make each word count. I have learned so much and had so much fun penning for Friday Fictioneers that I am almost obsessive about participating in it. So thank you Rochelle 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  • This community is the very best! I never thought I could write a story, never mind a 100-word one. You definitely do learn how to get rid of the fluff (maybe some Russian writers would have benefited from participating in such a group? 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Louise,

      I, too, noticed almost immediately, the difference this exercise made in my writing. I will forever be grateful to Madison Woods and those who were here before I took it on. The community is what made it for me. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Thank you SOOOOOOO much for sharing that there is a path from flash to a novel. I had fears that my enjoyment of flash might compel me to stay in one spot and not be encouraged to venture out farther. THANK YOU!


  • I’ve always felt that Friday Fictioneers was a great experience for me as a writer; some things I’ve written for it, including things I’ve written but not posted, have not only boosted my confidence but thanks to the succinctness of the form and having a visual prompt, I have been forced to write better, faster, briefer. I owe at least a part of my (modest!) success in flash fiction and short fiction publishing to Rochelle and the Friday Fictioneers experience, including my fellow authors’ writings. In short, I believe you take away from FF what you need to take away. And, for me, I needed that sort of mentorship. Thank you, Rochelle and FF!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Leigh,

      Your words warm me on a frigid day. I’ve always felt that writing flash fiction has caused me to tighten my writing. I was an addict from my first hundred words five years ago. Not just because of the writing but because of the welcoming community as well. No regrets. Blogs like Louise’s and comments like yours assure me that I did the right thing at the right time.

      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Fatima,

      As one FF’r put it, ‘comments are as manna to the writer.’ I agree with him. I’m something of a comment junkie myself. I’ve seen over the years what writing flash fiction has done for me a writer. Thank you for reading and commenting.



      Liked by 1 person

      • So true, Rochelle. The trouble is, it’s hard to keep the intensity and conciseness for a whole novel, and it might be overwhelming for readers, but it certainly makes you think about every single word on your page. Thanks, Lucy.


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