Ficly (formerly “Ficlets”) is one of the best sites for writers and readers alike that I have ever come across.
I wouldn’t have used this description over a year ago, but Ficly is like Twitter for fiction writers. And like Twitter, there is great freedom in restraint.
A long time ago, I followed a link recommendation from Wil Wheaton, which brought me to the most wonderful, awesome site for writers I’ve ever known: Ficlets.com (I won’t link because that site is now dead.) Ficlets restricted your story to 1,024 characters, or a few brief paragraphs.
Some of the things you could do with it included prequel or sequel any author’s story and hopefully get a chain of different authors adding to one story; issue writing challenges; write your own little series; comment/rate stories (leading to one of the most instructive, constructive feedback sites I’ve ever used); use creative commons pictures from Flickr as inspiration for a story; or use quotes or starters as inspiration. Most of these wonderful features are back on the new incarnation.
A lot of fun packed into a neat little site. Ficlets (and the nifty Flickr inspiration) helped me break through a problem I have always had whenever I tried to write a long story – namely, I could never write anything longer than a short story. But Ficlets helped me create a story with characters I fell in love with and storylines galore. And with the help of being able to write brief sequels, I found myself with a workable outline that eventually grew into what I hope will be a book in the near future. You can read some of my new Ficlies here.
So I have a deep love for Ficlets. Imagine my dismay when I learned it would be closing down. The creator of the site was leaving the company it began on and this company decided to shut the community down. Oh we had warning and most of us were able to save our stories – our babies really – before the last day.
And then, one day, came the word that he was rebuilding it in his spare time. That he was taking his time to make the improvements he couldn’t make before. That he and a core group of people, out of the kindness of their hearts and love for the community they had originally built, were going to bring it back.
And after a very long wait, Ficlets returned with a new name, Ficly, a beautiful makeover, and a crowd of loyal ficleteers returned to help make it what it once was. In the first week of being “open for business”, over 1000 Ficlies have been written. That is phenomenal and worthy of a visit, if writing is your thing.
Ficly is a friendly community, and strives to welcome and nourish newcomers looking to try their hand at writing, or hone their skills. All that’s asked is that you spend a little time reading the work of others and leaving constructive feedback whenever possible. Or even if you don’t want to write your own ficlies, you can still browse hundres of great short stories and poems.
So stop by and give it a whirl!