I’ve long been a fan and subscriber to Writer’s Digest. I mean, as a writer you pretty much are obligated to do so, right? Well, a month or so back I received a mailing from The Writer magazine. It looked interesting so I subscribed. I received my first issue the other day and I am just blown away. I think that in a lot of ways it spanks WD. One of the articles in this issue is about Flash Fiction.
No trenchcoats here
What is flash fiction? That’s an excellent question, and you would think that the answer would be straightforward. You would think. Sorry, it’s not that easy. Wikipedia (not that I ever trust anything from that site) says one thing, The Writer article says another, and associated web sites say something different.
It boils down to something like this:
Flash Fiction is a complete story, generally in narrative format in 1000 words or less.
Okay, that works for me.
Flash fiction also includes things like micro fiction. The most famous probably being from Hemingway: “For sale, baby shoes – never worn” Spend any time searching the web and you will find all kinds of micro fiction sites with stories from 6 words to 140 characters.
Make your writing flashy
I think that there are some very good reasons to explore this genre:
- Writing a story in 1000 words or less forces you to cut out every single word, scene and nuance that does not serve to move the story forward.
- Some folks don’t write because they think that they have to write a thousand page novel to be a writer and they’re just too intimidated to get started. Flash fiction makes the elephant easier to eat.
- Flash fiction forces you to do a better job of showing instead of telling.
Okay George, where do I go from here?
Here are some Flash Fiction sites if you’d like to explore this a little further:
I lke this idea a lot. it’s a great way for a new writer to get past the intimidation factor, and I like what it can do for seasoned writers.