Novella-in-Flash Writing Prompt #9 – Scene Afterwards/Scene Beforehand

Try the following writing prompt (a version of which first appeared in Unlocking the Novella-in-Flash: from Blank Page to Finished Manuscript (Ad Hoc Fiction, 2022), and then at the National Flash Fiction Day website this summer.)

PART ONE:
Set aside some time and space to think laterally and imaginatively about your novella. Plan ahead for this, if necessary, by allocating time in your diary.

Focus your attention upon a favourite chapter from your novella (one that you’ve already written).

PART TWO:
EITHER:

(a) Imagine a moment/an action/an event taking place some time after the scene in the original flash, and write a new flash using the same character(s) as a foundation.

You might set the new scene in the same location or situation, but allow some time to have elapsed in between (it’s up to you how much), so it feels like this new flash is beginning afresh in a new moment.

OR:

(b) Imagine a moment/an action/an event taking place before the original flash. Again, write a scene using the same character(s) as a foundation, maintaining a time gap between the two pieces.

Across the source flash and the newly generated flash, allow the story/situation to move forward. Let one flash develop the ingredients that are in the other. Explore what’s beyond the margins of the source flash.

Depending on whether the new scene is set before or after, consider:

  • Where must the character(s) have been previously or inevitably go afterwards?
  • Who with?
  • Seeing, doing, and experiencing what?

    Be as specific as possible when answering the above questions.

We might say the resulting pair of scenes creates ‘fragmented continuity’.

If you enjoy this tactic, consider using the process again (creating more ‘beforehand’ scenes or more ‘afterwards’ scenes). Do this as many times as feels right for your material.

PART THREE:
Cultivate a list of such ‘beforehand/afterwards scenes’ you could develop. Again, explore beyond the margins of the existing material, or follow up any threads (character, setting, plot situation, etc) you glimpse within it.

Begin some daydreaming…

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Novella-in-Flash Incubator Course 2022…

Writing a Novella-in-Flash/Novel-in-Flash

If you’re interested in embarking on a novella-in-flash or novel-in-flash, you are in the right place. This online course is designed as an incubator lab in which you can develop and grow a novella-in-flash or novel-in-flash concept. 

(But wait! What exactly is a novella-in-flash/novel-in-flash? See here.)

The full course consists of three main Phases (Incubation, Development, and Integration), with one-to-one support from tutor and novella-in-flash specialist Michael Loveday, author of the writing craft guide Unlocking the Novella-in-Flash: from Blank Page to Finished Manuscript (Ad Hoc Fiction, 2022). More about Michael’s teaching and editing experience here

This Novella-in-Flash Incubator course is designed to offer you a more sustained and in-depth level of one-to-one support for writing a novella-in-flash than you will be able to find anywhere else. It aims to provide the most comprehensive insights into all aspects of the novella-in-flash form.

The course gives you an informed space in which to figure out: what to write about, how to develop your characters and story world, how to link disparate material together, and how to shape an overall narrative arc. It also will expand your awareness of available options for the different forms and styles of novella-in-flash you can adopt, and the different narrative strategies you can employ.

And it’s completely flexible. YOU CHOOSE when you write and how quickly you work through the course. So you can fit your writing easily around commitments to your job, caring responsibilities, your yoga classes, cleaning the fridge (once a week, right?), and those late-night Breaking Bad re-runs that you love so much.

A description of how the course works can be found here. What you can expect in terms of outputs and outcomes is listed here. Four different course options are described here.  

The course is open for bookings. Please get in touch here: Apply for the Course.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton