Flash fiction. The opportunity to tell an entire story in 1,000 words or less. Exciting challenge or special form of torture? In January of this year, I honestly thought I would never be able to manage the trick of it, but I when I was presented with the opportunity to join a challenge to write one flash fiction per week for five weeks in a row I jumped in, because I never found a challenge that I could resist.
That’s when I discovered that writing good flash is even harder than I had feared. It’s easy to write a scene, an opening, a character sketch, but a story that short? With character development, setting, plot, and still managing to throw some voice in there for good measure?
I completed the challenge. In the process, I received oodles of comments about what I was producing, which helped clarify what needed to be addressed, and I also read a huge number of pieces that really worked. Seeing how much can be done in a piece of flash fiction was inspiring.
I also learned a lot about the necessity of picking your words
very carefully meticulously. See! I just saved a word and made a more concrete statement! This is a lesson that can be applied to writing in all shapes and sizes. Flash is just the Hunger Games arena where words battle each other for supremacy and survival.
I look forward to writing more flash in the future, and in the meantime, one of the pieces I wrote during that challenge, Three Red Roses, sold to Every Day Fiction and was published at the end of June.
Flash is an exciting opportunity. An opportunity to hone your word-smithing skills. An opportunity to test your limits. Most of all, it’s an opportunity to tell a story.
I’m interested in how many here have written flash. How do you like it? Alternatively, who here reads flash? What sorts of things do you enjoy in your bite-size fiction? Are there any particular stories that stood out to you as exceptional?
2 thoughts on “Flash Fiction, Oh My!”
I’ve been published five times in my life/career. All flash.
A writing friend and I made a pact to write one a month until we were both published in DSF. Took me longer, but we both made it. Now we write one every two months just to keep the exercise going and to have stories in circulation at all times.
I’m still currently a slush reader at EDF, so I read my fill of it.
I guess, yeah, I like flash. 🙂
The flash a month until DSF publishes you sounds like an excellent idea. They’re short, so adding in a flash, even on top of other longer work, should be do-able. I may just give that a go.
Also, I was really pleased with my experience with EDF. You slush for a good market. =)