18,216 Journeys & Counting

Sorry for the delay. I’ve had some connection issues. Here, without further ado, is the second place entry for the blog contest, courtesy of Mostly Harmless. Thanks for all the great entries, guys!

There is nothing quite like following a story from it’s very inception to it’s final curtain – watching it grow, develop, take risks, maybe even stumble a little, in it’s quest to reach ‘the end’.

That said, as several friends of mine clogged up my inbox with messages telling me how awesome the final episode of LOST was just a few days ago, I began to question how many things I have actually done that with. A tendency to channel hop can certainly make television viewing a surreal experience – half an episode of House, ten minutes of a Seinfeld rerun and the closing minutes of a nature documentary don’t exactly slot together naturally.

But then, is that necessarily true?

Yes, Ficly has it’s fair share of sprawling sagas, gripping you by the shirt collar and pulling you into their mammoth worlds, a la LOST, but at the same time, there are writers who have mastered the art of 1024 character storytelling – you can jump from a horror to a fantasy to a weepy romance in five minutes, and enjoy the ride as much as you could a whole novel.

John Steinbeck once said ‘a journey is like a marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.’

Don’t just let your writing take you where it will, but your reading, also – don’t let a story’s length or style put you off, because if Ficly is about anything, it is about discovery – and the beauty of discovery is that more-often-than-not, what you end up finding is infinitely deeper and more poignant than what you were looking for.

6 comments Posted 2010-06-17 Author: THX 0477


  • Stovohobo

    Very true. It’s always nice to read a ficly epic and move to an expertly crafted 1024 story.

  • Peeled Banana

    I love John Steinbeck!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry. I completely agree with this. I always liked short stories for the way the authors can craft such gripping and wholly different tales in so few words.

  • Robert Quick

    Sir Mostly Harmless -MH :), you have crafted an exceptional blog here. I’ve often seen you lurking around in a kind of Tim Messenger (Hot Fuzz) sort of way. I always appreciate your comments and insight whether on my own work or on the stories of others, so it is no surprise to find that I enjoyed what you had to say here.

    It took me years after high school to understand that I did in fact like short stories. I am an avid reader, always hungry for more, and I used to think the bigger the book, the better. I threw myself into the works of Heinlein, Jordan, Hobb, and Clavell, who are still some of my favourites.

    However some short stories have stuck with me- a Twilight Zone transcript, the Monkey’s Paw, To Build a Fire, to name a few. Eventually I discovered the works of Murakami and was reminded that bigger did not necessarily mean better, just longer, and that a delicious snack could be more satisfying than a bland five-course meal.

    Good topic and Cheers!

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    Bravissimo MH! Well crafted and well spoken. :)

  • Mostly Harmless

    Thanks guys, it was a pleasure to write…

    @Peeled Banana: Nothing wrong with loving the Steinbeck!

    @Robert Quick: Thanks for your comments – I used to be particularly prolific but the creative well isn’t quite as free-flowing at the minute! But still, once a Ficleteer, always a Ficleteer and I’ll always be drawn back!

    @ElshaHawk: Many thanks indeed – praise from you is high praise indeed…

  • Marli

    M.H. Thanks for your timely ,well written blog. Its a male thing I know to channel hop but I am finding I am doing it unconsciously when my mere male is away. I put it down to reading ficly works.ha,ha. my concentration span is not as good as it used to be when I was captured by lengthy novels.