Review: Holly Lisle’s Writing Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck (Week 3)

Rating: 4 Stars (Definitely read this and share with your writer friends!)

I made two other posts after I finished each week’s course (Week 1, Week 2), and now I’m done with Week 3! I have three good short stories completed.

Overall Review

If you’re a writer who is struggling to actually write, then I highly recommend Holly Lisle’s Writing Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck course. I don’t consider myself a particularly creative person, and I know that my story telling skills are at a novice level at best. The How to Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck course helped me get new ideas out of my head and onto the screen. That’s right– new ideas! These aren’t the stories that are still rattling around in my head at night. These aren’t things I thought of years ago or something I saw in someone else’s writing that I wanted to spin differently. I had 15 entirely new and original ideas for short stories. I haven’t completed all 15 short stories yet, but I will. I have already submitted one to a science fiction magazine, and I hope they consider it a worthy post for their publication. If not, I’ll be happy to share it on my blog, and I’ll write something better for my next submission.

Week 3 Course Review

True to form, the third week of How to Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck is really, really basic, and yet, it works exceptionally well. Now, Holly’s course explains that you should be writing 500-word short stories, but my stories have needed twice as many words to get there. Using the course, the first short story I wrote is called Leaving, which is a story about a battered woman who needs to get her children and herself to a safe place. This is nothing like anything I would ever sit down and *want* to write, but I did sit down and write it. It’s got a beginning, a middle, and an end. The ending was really hard for me, and I hacked over 1,000 words off the ending before I was finished with the story.

So my opinion of Week 3 is this: I have thoroughly embraced the basics of writing stories over the course of my month-long trial of Holly Lisle’s program. I am really tempted to buy some of her other courses just because this free thing worked so well. However, I’m going to hold off until I have the other short stories that I started completed.


Oh, and I shared this with my work friend, and she’s on vacation now. She printed all the courses and took them with her on vacation. I can’t wait to see her stories when she gets home!

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2 Responses to Review: Holly Lisle’s Writing Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck (Week 3)

  1. Just found this. I’m delighted the course worked for you. I’m sorry the first part seems so simple—some of the folks who take it have never done any writing before, and I need to make sure that I hit the very basics first.

    Gotta tell you, though, it’s fun getting to watch another writer succeed.

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Holly! Thanks for commenting! When I wrote my review– I was pretty sure I was anonymous. New blog. New blogger. I’m still a nobody in the writing world. I’m not sure what Google-magics brought you to my blog, but I’m glad it did.

      They say being a writer means you have to have thick skin. My little stack of rejections is a testament to that truth. You do need thick skin… but I hope that you kept reading past the critical bits of my review to the part that I think is important. I did eventually realize my own arrogance in feeling like the exercises were very basic. In my ridiculously fortunate life, I’ve either been able to learn quickly and advance or have lost interest and moved on. As I admitted, I tried to skip ahead but couldn’t find copies of your materials! So I had to do it your way, and I’m really glad I did. Your method brought about 15 really interesting ideas for me. Definitely got me out of my comfort zone, and even though I can’t go from “professional auditor” to “professional writer” in one week like I wish I could, I definitely feel like doing your course helped me develop a framework for stories that rattle around in my head for years. I dare say lacking that framework is precisely why they rattle around so much. There’s a process to everything– including getting those ideas from your head onto the screen/paper. You helped me do that (for free, even). So it is with many thanks that I wish you continued success in reaching out to writers who need guidance. You’re very good at it! Cheers! Amanda

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