What is Flash Fiction and Why do I write it

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What it is…

To be completely honest, I just learned what flash fiction is a few months ago. I kept seeing the hashtag on Twitter and -as most of my journeys start- was curious. To summarize, it is a short story based on certain criteria. The rules for Flash Fiction are considerably different depending on who is hosting the challenge. Word count limits, prompts, frequency, well, you get the point.

So far I have be challenged with photos, dialogue prompts, scenario prompts, have had 200 word limits and no word limits and everything in between. Right now I’m participating in Dice Games which is a weekly prompt for September. I’ve also done the first challenge for Writer’s Campaign which was the shortest at 200 words, this month.

 Why I write it…

Other than the fact that it is just plain fun to meet these writing challenges the reason I continue writing them is to stretch my writing muscles. Flash Fiction is a wonderful tool for writing.

This month I was challenged with writing Sci-fi, which is a genre very unfamiliar to me. I really had a nail-biting time with it to the point that it almost became un-fun. It gave me the ability to look at the piece, realize why I was having a hard time with it and change my approach so that it wasn’t so frustrating. Writing should be fun and that challenge helped me to discover that, even out of my comfort zone.

I also made personal challenges such as writing completely from a male perspective, something I do not really ever do. I’ve also been allowed to play around with imagery, descriptions, and voices without having to commit to a large project. I find myself snatching pieces of my flash fiction for use in my novels. Or learning to turn a phrase successfully -or more likely Un-successfully- without fear of ruining a three thousand word chapter.

It’s given me an opportunity to put into practice some of the writing techniques I’ve been learning and I hope that even these shorter pieces show progression of my craft. I can tell that while I’m writing, the delete key comes into play quite often as I realize that I am making novice mistakes. It’s also given me the challenge to be concise. Wordiness can bog a reader down. I’ve come to see where my writing needs to be cut, be able to do those cuts, when I have limited words available.

I also hope that I entertain those that stumble across my blog with these easily, and quickly, digestable stories.

 

ROW80 goals

This is the last week for round three of ROW80. I have been writing more than I had before I joined and plan to participate in the next round. I have learned so much over the course of these weeks that I couldn’t have duplicated had I been on my own. Finding Flash Fiction challenges was only one small piece. The journey to becoming a successful writer is long and there is no real set goal for completion. Every day is another day to practice, to learn, to write. To make connections with others that are on the same path even though they’re on seperate journeys.

Thanks to all the ROW80 fellows that have visited my blog through this round. I hope to see you next time.

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9 responses »

  1. I had been wondering about that that was as well. Neat! I also saw a magazine in that book I sent you where you have to write a story that begins with the first line they give you. Each issue is a different first line. Also a neat concept.

  2. For the longest time, I fought against the idea of flash fiction and then, in a moment of inspiration, wrote two of my best pieces and, sure enough, they were flash fiction and they still remain as a proud moment for me. I’ve really embraced the art and the skill used to make a good piece of flash fiction since then. If anything, you’re right, it’s a great tool to flex your muscles and I agree with Jody that it can be pretty addictive.

    I really look forward to trying to follow you on the next round of RoW80! I didn’t get to as many people in this round, but one of my goals for Round 4 is to read EVERYBODY. : ) It’s such a great activity; look forward to seeing you there!

  3. You’ve made some great points for flash fiction, C.M. The closest I’ve come was the 150-word challenge for a fight scene that Jenny Hansen had (on which I did miserably!). I may try again, though, with your pluses in mind. I’ve certainly enjoyed reading yours, in any case!

    It was great to meet you this Round, and I’m looking forward to doing the next Round with you!

  4. I actually only just learned about Flash Fiction this year myself (July if I remember correctly) and it has been a wonderful writing exercise for me. I don’t feel like I have any real future in flash fiction–not even sure if such a thing is possible–but I enjoy the opportunity it gives me to change gears and challenge myself without taking too much time away from my other endeavors.
    By the way, love yours including the Sci-Fi one.

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