July: Challenge Yourself!

This month, let’s focus on the Ficly challenge.

Challenges are great ways to flex your writing muscles. Enter them for entertainment, for creative exercise, or to vainly get comments. No seriously, those who create challenges will read your work. Most often, those who enter and compete against you will also read your entry and leave a comment. Read theirs back. Comment on each other’s entries constructively and play fair.

Challenges are fun to create as well. Entries always surprise you! Set a deadline of at least a couple weeks and check back every day to read entries and leave comments.

Notice a theme? Comments are HUGE on ficly, and frankly, folks, I have not seen many of them flying around..

Part of this website is the family atmosphere which cannot be upheld if everyone is silent.

Go where the fun is.. to the challenge page! Let’s renew our friendships by telling our Ficly writing buddies about a cool new challenge to enter and then comment on the entries.

Challenge each other to make a challenge, enter all the challenges, or comment on all the entries. Challenge yourself to write the longest comments possible.

So go make challenges!
Go enter challenges!
Challenge your neighbor!
Challenge yourself!

(Start by commenting below. Got challenge advice? Comment advice? tell us!)


  • BiC

    My challenge to myself this month is: If I read it, I’ll comment on it! Many times I lurk in the shadows of Ficly, reading, but sharing little. I’ve been doing a lot less lurking lately, but when I do my lurking this month, I’ll make the effort to leave a comment before I make my way back to my concealment… within the shadows!

  • Zerrakhi

    One piece of advice I might offer is that a good challenge should be neither too broad or too narrow, but just right.

    A challenge should contain an idea that people probably wouldn’t have thought of on their own. If you read someone else’s challenge and immediately think of something you’ve already written that would fit perfectly, then it’s probably too broad. Some challenges are so broad that almost ANY story could fit, which I think misses the point of what challenges are for.

    On the other hand, a challenge should not be so specific that it stifles creativity. You should probably avoid a long list of requirements, and in my experience, challenges based on a photograph usually don’t work too well, especially if there are lots of things in the photograph. There are exceptions, but something you can actually see is often not all that inspiring.

    The best challenges are somewhere in the middle: specific enough to inspire the writer but not so specific as to stifle them.

  • Tad Winslow

    I’m a terrible lurker too. And I know that comments, and to a far lesser extent, ratings, are what makes Ficly work/ succeed/ run/ complete. Yes, what I’m saying is that all of you commenting compadres complete me, and ficly. Without comments we can kiss our wonderful community good bye. So get out there and say something! I know I will.

  • Stockholm

    Obligatory lurker-guilt comment.
    My name is Paul, and I’m a taker when it comes to attention.

  • RoseTone ~LoA~

    I suffer from jet lag and a significant lack of available internet. But at least one of those problems has been solved.

  • RoseTone ~LoA~

    Unsorted flowing thoughts on commenting from which good ideas may be derived:

    Be honest. If you liked something, SAY SO! If you didn’t think the characters made sense, point it out. But whatever you do, be tasteful. How about offering a suggestion? Perhaps you saw the scene resolving differently – let the author know they got your imagination working!

  • RoseTone ~LoA~

    Ask questions! Maybe a particular tag seems unrelated. Where did they come up with the idea for that piece? Was in conceived in traffic or while mowing the lawn? Have they been mulling over a theme or was it inspired and written during a half hour sitting in a coffee shop? What part of the ficly is their personal favorite? Why did they settle on those names for the character?

    There is never a point where you could have no questions to ask an author.

  • RoseTone ~LoA~

    Want an easy place to get started commenting?

    Pick an author you like and check out their earlier works! Read the other comments! Do you agree with others or not? Comment your assent or disagreement! Nothing to it.

    Take it a step further! Do you feel the other commenters missed a nuance of the story? Show it to them in a comment! Do you feel a story needed to be polished a little? Remember – be tasteful in your critique. Leave the author feeling encouraged! We are a family after all.

    Comment! Justdoit.