Friday, April 14, 2017

Not Just a Flash in the Pan

I was off today and so I decided to make a decision about that story I wanted to submit to the Women on Writing Flash Fiction Contest. I spent a couple of hours on a story last weekend but it just refused to be boxed into a 750-word limit! All the things I thought were great about it, didn't make the cut and I found I just didn't like it anymore. What to do? 

I had an epiphany during recess yesterday. I would take one of my mom's childhood stories I wrote a few years ago and see if it fit and it did and I even found I liked it better. I just uploaded it a while ago and hopefully, the judges feel the same way. I won't know for sure until midsummer but I'm satisfied...I think. 

I have never been a short story reader and when I started this idea of writing, I envisioned a full-length novel. Lately, I've had to write so many short stories for my creative writing courses on Coursera and I've discovered I like writing short stories. I think it's because I have ADHD. I get bored easily and short stories mean I can write and move on to the next adventure. 

I haven't given up my full-length novel idea but feeling inspired, I Googled short story contests and found the Women on Writing Flash Fiction Contest. Hmmm...I thought. Flash fiction...interesting...and uh what exactly is that? Flash fiction are very short stories that can range from 100 to 1000 words. I wanted to know more so I went on Kindle Unlimited and found a little gem of a book about flash fiction: Writing Flash Fiction: How to Write Very Short Stories and Get Them Published by Carly Berg.  I was a little skeptical about flash fiction but Berg makes sense. According to her, flash fiction "forces you to write tight like nothing else. With so little space to tell a story, you soon hone your craft." 

It has been said by those less tolerant of my effusive manner that I have diarrhea of the mouth. That has kind of carried over to my writing. Without fail, I write about three hundred words over the limit on my writing assignments. Most have 500-1000 word limits. I always have to go back and cut and edit until it's within the allowable limit. This process though frustrating has taught me so much about editing.  As Berg says, "Every word has to carry its weight or be cut." Plus, she makes a good case for writing flash fiction: It is a good way to get published and have your work seen and if it doesn't get published, you haven't spent all that long on it. I haven't given up on my novel, "The Ivys" but I'm willing to put it off in an effort to gain experience. Well, I'm keeping it short tonight. Wow. Maybe all this flash fiction is good for me.  Talk to you tomorrow. 

Photo credit: Walt Stoneburner <a href="">Write In Journal</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="