I heard and read a lot about flash fiction and it fascinates me. Therefore, I decided to attempt to write a piece of Flash Fiction here on my blog:
She heard a wolf howl somewhere in the distance. Her horse snorted and began to swivel his ears rapidly. She leaned forward, rubbed his neck and spoke soothingly to him. She heard some low growls and her horse darted forward. A pack of wolves ran past them in the snow. That’s odd. They didn’t try to attack us. She urged her horse forward cautiously. They rounded a bend and her horse stopped. The wolves were about fifty feet in front of them, circling something in the snow, growling and gnashing their teeth. She knew she wouldn’t get her horse any closer to those wolves, but she had to see what it was they were after. She climbed down, attached a longer rope to her horse’s reins and grabbed her rifle. She approached the pack quietly. The pack was so intent on their prey, they didn’t notice her. When she was about twenty feet from them she fired her rifle in the air. The wolves ran a couple of yards in the opposite direction, then stopped and looked back. She had reloaded and she stared the pack down. She fired a shot in their direction but above their heads. They took off and didn’t look back again. She approached something lying on the ground. Her senses were heightened as she remained wary of her surroundings. Her horse nickered, snorted, and pawed the ground where he waited. She gasped and fell to her knees in the snow. It was a man! He was unconscious but his pulse was strong. She tugged on the rope attached to her horse. The horse came to her and she tied one end of the rope around the man’s waist. Then she threw the other end over her horse’s saddle, looped it around the saddle horn and went to the other side of the horse. She tied the loose end of the rope around her own waist, sat on the ground and began pulling the rope with all of her might. She pulled and pulled having to pause now and then. Her arm muscles burned but she kept pulling until the man was over her horse’s back. She held the rope taught, approached her horse and made sure the gentleman was placed so that his middle was across the saddle with head hanging on one side and legs and feet hanging on the other side of the horse. She secured him so that he wouldn’t fall. She headed back to town leading her horse, relieved that she had found him.
Some of you may think it’s a bit long for flash fiction. It’s 414 words. I’ve read that flash fiction can vary in length but that it is always less than 1,500 words. I know most flash fiction writers challenge themselves to write less than 300 words, some even less than that.
I am satisfied with 414 words on my first attempt. I enjoyed writing this and I like it. I hope you will enjoy it as well. By the way, I know I overused the word “she” and probably “horse” as well, but that was deliberate on my part. I have a reason for doing so. Maybe I’ll make a regular post out of flash fiction, like my blogger friend Melanie Noell Bernard. You can visit her blog and check out her “Flash Fiction Friday” posts by clicking her link on the sidebar — she’s #6.
What about you? Have you ever tried to write flash fiction? Do you enjoy it? What do you think of my first attempt?
5 thoughts on “Flash Fiction”
Hi Kelly! ^.^ I told you I’d stop by and I’m very happy I did. This was a GREAT start to flash fiction!
In regards to your comments of writers challenging themselves to write fewer than 300 words, it’s because many writers struggle with being concise. Flash Fiction is a fantastic way to challenge ourselves to be clear in the least amount of words. It’s why many of my flash fiction are actually under 100 words, but that’s another story. :p
As to your piece, I loved the ending. It left the reader wondering more, which is exactly what I like to do with my flash fiction (as you obviously read :p). I would say, that maybe you could work on heightening the emotion, the suspense. One simple way to do that is to make your sentences shorter. I generally look for the ‘and’s in my piece and cut them out and re-arrange the sentences. Short sentences have a natural increase to tempo and suspense.
In addition to this, I recommend you take out any ‘about’. You used it twice to give an estimate of distance, but this ‘about’, this speculation, this uncertainty can really contrast with the suspense of a story. Does that make sense?
Second is something that was brought to my attention a few years ago: filtering. Some people have an issue with this and other times, it’s impossible not to filter it, but filtering is like showing in that you’re explaining the world through the character. (No idea how to say this :p) But I’ll give an example!
Your first sentence: ‘She heard a wolf howl somewhere in the distance.‘ You said ‘she heard’, which creates a disconnect between the reader and the story. Simply saying: ‘a wolf howled somewhere in the distance’ is much cleaner for the reader. It really helps them delve into the story.
Wow! I hope this didn’t come off in a mean way! (I’m still working on my ability to be a good betareader. So I apologize), but this was a great piece! I knew what was happening. The mystery kept me drawn in, and the last line was perfect in my opinion. (because you took what could’ve been an unknown man and made him into THAT man. Perfect.) ^.^
I am so glad you stopped by and read my first Flash Fiction piece. Also, thank you so much for your kind, encouraging words and helpful tips. You did not come off mean in any way. I really appreciate everything you had to say, and will definitely put your advice into practice because I can see exactly what you mean and how much better the piece would be by doing the few things you suggest. Thank you so much.
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You’re so welcome, Kelly! I’m so happy to be able to help. I never thought I’d be the one giving writing advice, but it’s fun. I look forward to watching your FF improve. ^.^
I’ve never tried flash fiction. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your piece. You left me wanting more. Who is the lady? Who is the man? What happened to him? What did the villagers think when the lady came riding into town with a hurt man ?
You know that you have to write more these people, don’t you? I’ll keep bugging you until you do. Bwahshahaha ;-P J/K
Thanks for stopping by and reading my first piece of Flash Fiction, Sue. I’m glad you enjoyed it and that it left you wanting more. 😀
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