Friday, May 29, 2009

Flash Fiction

Friday, May 29, 2009

I'd never heard of flash fiction until I read about it on pattinase.

As I understand it, flash fiction is very short, usually fewer than one thousand words. It is written specifically to be read on the Internet.

My initial reaction is that flash fiction is another attempt by writers to have some control over their writing. Even if you are fortunate enough to have a book published by a trade publisher, the process is almost endless. Once they accept the book, it is still a year or more until publication.

That timeline is probably different for best selling writers.

I have the sense that writers are trying to look to the Internet (including print-on-demand books) as an alternative way to publish their writing, a way which gives them more control. It also gives some writers a way of getting their work which has been rejected elsewhere published. And it is a kind of game, played just for the fun of it.

There is a lot of excellent writing which editors don't view as commercially viable. And I might add, there is a lot of really lousy writing that sells millions.

If you love to write, it is good to have a variety of ways to share your writing.


Paul Brazill said...

Joe, I'd never heard of Flash fiction until last November when i was introduced to Powder Burn Flash via Keith Rawson. since then I've read lots of good stuff from Cormac Brown, Al Tucher, Gary Dobbs and loads of others. I've even had a go myself a few times and it's a good discipline. It broke my inhibitians about writing and, I think, has done the same for many other people.

Joe Barone said...

Very helpful comment. Thanks.

Corey Wilde said...

Flash is a truly rigorous form. To produce a quality piece of flash fiction takes as much skill as it does talent. And a really vivid imagination.

Usually I can't even write a blog in less than a thousand words. Kudos to the fiction writers!

Joe Barone said...

I'd say good flash fiction is something you can't fake.

When I was in high school I used to play a game with myself, writing very short essays and fiction with a punch. I kept a notebook, one of those spiral bound with the binding at the top. No more than one page for each story. No telling what black hole that's fallen into over the years. But I remember a few of those being pretty good.

Corey Wilde said...

"I'd say good flash fiction is something you can't fake."Joe, that's the most succinct and accurate a statement about flash fiction I've read.