Musings on Flash Fiction.

First I have to confess something.

When I started participating in Yeah, Write it was mostly for my own lols. One of the methods I use to keep writing is that I pick a thing and play with it as I mentioned way back here.

Now with flash fiction I add the layer of the word count restriction. And another confession I write 90% of my flash on my phone while I wait for or am on buses.

Normally I start out with a voice or a setting. My last Yeah, Write  entry Driver was inspired by a few things. I like to have shows playing in the background at work and one day I was watching ghost hunter shoes along with having watched a terrible movie with an unhinged psychic. Something we never see are psychics in their off time.

What happens?

Who do they want to talk to?

Voila Driver was born.

I wrote that piece like a year and a half ago. I submitted it a few places. Got soundly rejected. I changed it a tiny bit, did another round of submissions and all form thanks but no thanks rejections.

Most of the pieces I’ve used for my Yeah Write entries have been often rejected that way. I have thought for the past two years that maybe the way I write them is as I was told once just wrong.

Another confession. I find the stridency of the mantra that flash must be a story-story kind of boring. I think the idea that a story is only a real story if it follows the Western plot arc is just..boring.

I like ambiguous endings. I like the conflict not being all in your face. I like not being certain while I read a story what is what.

I feel like flash is my way of learning to really make people feel something in a tight space. One of my Yeah Write pieces got the worst rejection ever of, we just didn’t feel anything (insert poor author whimpering here) and yeah. That one cut to the bone and set me back on my heels.

For quite a while I treated my flash like I treated my poetry. Just as little scribbly shits I did in order to get to more important shit. Honestly y’all I really was feeling like okay maybe I don’t know what I’m doing so I should just put these away.

And then Yeah, Write happened.

I really enjoy the diversity that can happen inside of flash fiction as a thing. I really feel like one of the purposes of literature as an art form is to expose readers to new worlds and different people. I write a lot of people, some of them are the sorts I’ve run into in my life and you might have never come across.

Then a look into a world, a room if you will that you do not belong in and that is awesome to me.

I love having the option as a reader to just have a taste of something new. I don’t always need a whole mouthful or a whole thing. Just a bite. An appetizer.

I love being left wanting more.

More story, more of a particular voice or just more of an author. I feel like flash is a super awesome way to get that.

As a writer I feel like Flash is such a rich place to play. Dip your toes in genre fiction or narrators you might not be able to tolerate for a long period of time. Work out a voice.

I am so glad someone peer pressured me into trying Yeah,Write. It has been so much fun.

Next week I might give the non fiction grid a shot. WHO KNOWS.

Now I have a hellacious head cold. My drugs are wearing off and I’m very tired. So here, check out the piece I put up at Medium about aging and fashion. LOOK I can write non fiction that isn’t rip my heart out stuff. Whoa.

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3 thoughts on “Musings on Flash Fiction.

  1. Christine

    Thanks so much for the yeah write shout out, Shannon! I love flash fiction for the same reasons you do – it’s a chance to try something new, to see what develops, to decide if a character is worth following along with or is better left alone. And personally I have to say that *I* am thrilled someone peer pressured you into trying yeah write – I love reading your stuff. 🙂

  2. Natalie DeYoung

    I always read your entries with anticipation, specifically because you don’t follow the prescriptive formula. I too like a little ambiguity in my stories.
    I’m so glad you participate. 🙂

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