A Much Needed Break from Grading: My Thoughts on Ficlets/Ficly v. Protagonize

Tomorrow, Ficlets.com is no more. This is the writing community I was a part of for over a year, where I wrote more in the space of 15 months than in my entire life. This is not an exaggeration -- I published over 700 ficlets on this website. A ficlet is a story of only 1,024 characters in length, which may not sound like a lot, but I poured my soul into that website, into my little stories, only to have AOL decide to let the website die after its license expired.

Kevin Lawver, the brains (and heart) behind the site has created the site Ficlets Memorial, where all the authors and their stories are thankfully kept safe. I began backing up my ficlets onto this blog like a mad woman some months back, when I first had the inkling that this might occur, but I couldn't escape the nagging worry that I'd left something behind, some orphan of a story left lonely and cold and forgotten. Now I don't have to worry. It's almost an understatement to call my feeling a relief!

I recently joined this new writing community, Protagonize.com. At first, I was ecstatic to find this new outlet. It's a lot like Ficlets, but with a few tweaks -- No more character limit! Solo stories which nobody can branch! (Thank God -- sometimes I couldn't help but feel disappointed when a story goes in a direction I don't want it to go, especially if it's somebody else's direction.)

Sure, it's missing a lot of what I loved best about Ficlets.com, like the ability to keep your stories in draft mode before you publish them, plus the inspire feature, which allows writers to use pictures, snippets of text, quotes, etc. when the Muse decides to AWOL. But overall, I like it a lot, and Nick, editor and Protagonizer extraordinaire, is great in that he's willing to implement new features and open to suggestions for the site. Plus, I've met a lot of great new writers, many of whom have welcomed us Ficleteer refugees with open arms.

But it seems I'm going to have to make a choice. I just found out that Kevin Lawver has something new in the works: Ficly.com. The website's up, but there's nothing much as of yet. It's just a placeholder, but I'm excited. And confused!

I know one thing for sure -- I won't be able to stay on Protagonize and dedicate myself to it 100% while doing the same at another site. It's not like having both a Facebook and a MySpace account.

Well, whatever, for now, Protagonize. In the words of my fellow Southern belle, Ms. O'Hara, tomorrow is another day.

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You can read my ficlets, all of them, here at the memorial site: http://ficlets.ficly.com/authors/asimon78

This is my last ficlet, which I posted a few minutes ago on Ficlets.com:

"Closing Thoughts, My Final Ficlet"

The time has caught up with us—
Tomorrow is almost here,
And pages ripped from calendars cannot deny the truth:

This welcome home, this community
Of writers and readers, but most of all, of words,
Is closing its door one final time.

So I sit here typing these thoughts
Into that black-rimmed box I came to know so well,
Remembering stories I’ve read and authors I’ve met,

Thankful I’ve had the opportunity to grow
As both a reader and a writer.

4 comment(s):

Marc said...

I hope Protag has managed to get her hooks deep enough into you that you'll stick around :)

- Eloo

Kevin Lawver said...

Thanks for being a part of the ficlets community, Ana. I am overwhelmed by how great the community was that formed around the site. You guys are amazing, and you especially helped set the tone. Protagonize is lucky to have you, and if you don't end up using ficly, that's fine too. It's just (going to be) a website. Whatever community that forms there will be different from ficlets. I just hope they're half as supportive and creative as you guys are.

Hannahkin said...

eeeek! what a choice :) i have to start some serious writing sometime soon, and i'd be interested in joining either one... thanks for sharing this!

Ana Cristina said...

Hannahkins, (no, that's not a typo, I just think it sounds cute!) you have to join! That would be the bestest!