Please welcome Madeline Mora-Summonte with a
FLASH 5 Reasons to Write Flash Fiction!
FIVE REASONS TO WRITE FLASH FICTION
Fun! – How about crafting 25 word stories based on the names of nailpolish colors? Or creating 100 word stories with a one word only title based on themes like green and underground?
Limits! – Sure, limits are restricting but they often force us to think inside the box. Sometimes it takes more imagination to work with what you have, to work within the rules. It's thinking outside the box while staying inside it!
Across genres! – I've written flash in genres ranging from literary to horror to surreal. It's a wonderful way to stretch that creative muscle without committing to a full-blown novel-thon.
Space! – You can't spell everything out in flash fiction; there just isn't room. But it's within those spaces, between what is said and what isn't, that powerful moments – a subtle twist, some lovely nuance – reside. Readers become collaborators as they bring more of themselves to the story.
Hard! – Many people think it's easy to "knock off" a 25 word or a 500 word story. Writing good flash fiction is fun, but it's harder than it looks. Sure, this can be considered a negative, but I like to think of it as a challenge. So, how about you? Are you up for it?
BIO: Madeline Mora-Summonte is a writer, a reader, a beach-comber, and a tortoise-owner. She is the author of the flash fiction collections The People We Used to Be and Garden of Lost Souls.
Notes from Tyrean: if you haven't read Madeline's work, I highly recommend both of her books and any/all of the short fiction she has published in various e-zines. She knows how to pack meaning into tiny stories that will amaze, entertain, or haunt you with their realistic world-building and characters.
And, I just discovered another author has a new book out, so I just want to give a super short shout-out for Annalisa Crawford and her new book: You. I. Us.
Plus, I had four poems published in The Skinny Poetry Journal last week (free to read online).
And, the awesome Tara Tyler hosted me for a post on being an Author Branding Rebel! Please come visit.
I certainly don't think it would be easy! Every word has to count. You have to write in a way that lets people read between the lines.
Great list! I agree, flash fiction isn't easy. I'm always amazed by people who can craft a story in so few words like that!
I love that, the space between what's said and what isn't. You nailed it, right there, Madeline.
Tyrean - thanks so much for having me guest post, and also for your kind words about my work. Much appreciated! :)
And yeh for Annalisa!
Alex - a lot of people think it's easy, but a lot of people also think writing itself is easy, so.... :)
Heather - thank you! I got a kick out of coming up with the Five Reasons.
I LOVE Flash. It forces you to evaluate every single word and only the best ones survive. I think every writer should devote time to learning Flash. It improves the focusing skills ten fold.
I kind of think of it like a word puzzle and it's kind of fun.
Madeline is pretty amazing!
I love that part, too. :)
I agree! Flash is a fun way to tighten our wordage. (or at least my over-verbose wordage)
Thanks for the awesome post, Madeline!
Annalisa - thank you!
Crystal - You are totally right about it improving our focus.
I think it would be incredibly hard to create quality flash fiction. I salute those who do it and do it well. Yourself included, Madeline. :)
Those are great reasons to write flash fiction. The same reasons I share. :) It's sure is a challenge. A fun challenge.
My hat is off to those who can write stories that are so short and so good. It's an amazing talent. Congrats to Tyrean on her published poems and to Annalisa on her new book! Off to visit Tara Tyler now. :)
MJ - thanks so much!
Chrys - it really is a fun challenge.
Lori - it's not easy, but it's worth it. :)
(And Tyrean, congrats on the poems! Sorry! I missed it during my first read through of the post.)
I can't imagine writing flash fiction or a short story would be easy. I think it would be much more challenging than writing a story with a much larger word count. Thanks for the great list! Congrats on your poems, Tyrean!
It's nuts that people think writing flash is easy. I think it's crazy hard. You're so good at it though that you make it look easy.
Congratulations on your poems, Tyrean!
Writing flash fiction is fun. I like the first one with the idea of using nail polish names. That sounds fun.
I'd love to write more flash fiction. It takes talent to write something that short.
Natalie - I'm glad you liked the list!
Julie - aw, thanks! :)
Patricia - definitely check out Nailpolish Stories to read and to write for. Tyrean's got a bunch of stories published over there as well. :)
M Pax - go for it!
I've found short stories to be harder than novels, and flash fiction to be harder than longer short stories. Flash fiction is a great way, however, to pull a story idea into focus in a hurry.
Patricia - I find novels harder than short stories and flash! :) I bet flash fiction would be a great way to start and/or summarize longer scenes for novels.
Flash fiction is definitely hard to write. It demands that you increase your vocabulary. There is no way, in my opinion, that you can style your sentences without having a command of grammar and a medium-sized vocabulary.
Those are good reasons to try flash fiction. The best I've done is a 750 word horro tale. I think it won a blogger contest many, many years ago.
Pat - excellent point about the vocabulary. You have to use the strongest words possible. No wishy-washy verbs or vague nouns! :)
Tamara - I'd say that's great! I would also say, keep at it. :)
I find flash fiction so intimidating! Madeline does it beautifully and I am always so impressed!
Liza - you can do it! And thank you so much for your kind words. :)
I love flash fiction!!!! It's a way of tackling a story in a few words.
A couple of the members of my critique group bring in flash fiction every once in a while. It can be hard to tell any kind of a story within the constraints of flash fiction. I salute those who can do it.
Cathrina - thank you!
Ken - it really is a challenge, but it's a good one. :)
This is a great list of reasons to write flash fiction and I definitely agree with that last one! I think flash fiction is hard, and yet, you do it so effortlessly. I love your stories, Madeline!
Great post. I love flash fiction. My goal for the summer is to release a flash fiction story every Friday (yes, Friday flash, super original, I know:-) ) It really is challenging getting all that nuance into such a tiny space. I've never managed it with less than 400 words, but I'm trying.
very creative and encouraging 5! Flash fiction is a perfect practice challenge to get your writing juices flowing! i did so many when i started writing, and i even got mentioned a couple of times in Janet Reid's contests! I need to do some flash again, it's been a while! thanks for reminding me!
and thanks Tyrean for another Fab 5!
Kristin - thank you so much!
SM - that's an excellent goal. Keep working at it - you can do it!
Tara - you're welcome for the reminder! And I love those Janet Reid contests.
Too true--but it also makes you search for the exact right word to take the place of three or more descriptors, and thus improves our efforts.
This is an awesome post! It's tough to write good flash fiction. I keep on practicing, and it has made me a better writer with my longer works too.
Great post. I like writing flash fiction.
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit
Christine - keep at it! You're totally right about it helping with all of our writing.
Juneta - thank you!
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