Not that kind of flasher, naughty bird. A flash fiction writer.
Why should I be a flash fiction writer? You ask. I’m glad you did. Flash fiction forces several wondrous talents upon you:
- Economy of language.
- Full-bodied plot in a tiny, weeny package.
- A stretch into new genres, styles, content.*
- Opportunity for you to turn away from a grueling, lonely novel-nobody-sees and hit publish.
- The thrill of weekly or monthly contests, like zeroflash, cracked flash fiction, and microcosms.
- Receive needful pets from fellow writers and learn to give same. Be in community.
I had this thought as I sat down today with my novel-in-progress: flash fiction should/could be part of Stephen King’s famed tool box for writers. Use it if it suits you. At first I couldn’t imagine liking anything less than a full-length novel, but the more I read and write flash, the more I appreciate its form. It’s like poetry and fiction made love and bam! Flash fiction.
*One such stretching happened to me just this month. The prompt for July’s Zeroflash is to write a metafiction piece. Metafiction? What on earth is that? The latin prefix meta means beyond, which I think of as above and beyond. Still, above and beyond fiction? I had to look it up. Luckily some of the examples were books I’d already read, so I understood that metafiction called attention to itself as a form or structure. Call me thick, it didn’t get much easier once I knew what the stuff was. But chew on a thing long enough and eventually it assimilates into you. Check out my metafiction flash piece here.