Let’s Talk About Flash Fiction

Do you read Flash Fiction? What’s your favorite genre of Flash Fiction?

Flash Fiction’s popularity is growing. You can now find Flash Fiction Online Magazines, such as Flash Fiction MagazineHavok, and Spark Flash Fiction. There are Flash Fiction Contests also available online, and lots of people writing about Flash Fiction, as well as writing Flash Fiction stories.

In addition to all of the genres and websites that offer Flash Fiction stories and/or Flash Fiction tips and advice, there are websites who define Flash Fiction and the definitions vary: some say a Flash Fiction story needs to be 300 words or less; some say 500 words or less; some say 1,000 or 1,200 or 1,500 words or less. The three online Flash Fiction magazines I listed above all require, in their submission guidelines, Flash Fiction stories between 300 and 1,000 words.

I entered a contest earlier this year that required 500 words or less. A Contest I entered more recently required 100 – 300 words. However, this contest didn’t require it to be only Flash Fiction stories–it could also be the beginning of a longer story (I wrote a 300 word Fantasy Flash Fiction story, and no, I didn’t win; didn’t even make it to the finals, but I rarely dabble in Fantasy. I was just happy to earn some votes in the first round.)

If you follow my blog, you know that I write a Flash Fiction story to post every Friday, and if you haven’t noticed, I do my best to write around 800 words, but I do make sure to write less than 1,000 words.

Why is Flash Fiction so popular with readers? Because theses stories are short. You can read a Flash Fiction story in 5-10 minutes, and you get a complete story. You can read them on a bus or train or while waiting in a doctor or dentist’s office.

Why is Flash Fiction so popular with writers? Because it forces writers to hone their craft — to write a well-written story that is tight and concise–no wasted words.

Every website that talks about writing Flash Fiction says, “Just like any other story, a Flash Fiction Story must have a beginning, middle, and end.”

However, many Flash Fiction writers write a satisfying ending that resolves the scene they have created, but leave room for the reader to imagine a complete ending they might like, similar to the old storybooks some writers wrote for children in the past: “choose your own ending”.

I do my best to put a satisfying ending on my Flash Fiction stories. However, sometimes I do leave it to the reader’s imagination to a degree.

What about you? Do you prefer a good solid ending on the Flash Fiction stories you read, or do you like a slight cliff-hanger that allows you to ponder how it might really end?

A Few Writing Updates

Two weeks ago I shared a post about a new literary journal that would be published soon, encouraging you to submit writing to it or subscribe to read it. I am sad to now announce that the Editor in Chief emailed my submission back to me and informed me that she was shutting “Echo Literary Journal” down before it has even begun due to lack of subscriptions and publishable quality submissions. This is very sad because so few magazines of this type, looking for actual short stories in almost every genre and poetry, still exist and accept submissions now. It’s also sad because the Editor in Chief’s dream ended before it began. I do hope she will try again sometime in the future and find success.

As for my writing, I am doing well, though this past week was very busy and I didn’t get to write as often as I would like, but we did get our oldest son settled back at college. However, I have finally found the writing schedule that works for me. I homeschool our youngest son first thing after breakfast until we are finished. Also, during that time, I strive to get the laundry completed on Mondays, sometimes having to finish it on Tuesdays. After homeschool, if we have time, now that the weather is my favorite kind of weather–no heat and humidity and comfortable temperatures (65-82 degrees), we take a walk, then I have time for critiquing/editing before dinner. I cook simple meals that don’t require a ton of time but are tasty and healthy. Then after dinner, I have two to four hours to write and still allow myself at least 1/2 to one hour to read or listen to relaxing music so that I can then go to bed and sleep. This schedule works great for me because I am not a morning person, so my brain struggles to write if I try to do so in the morning. However, I am a night owl. Therefore, on this schedule, my brain kicks in and I’ve been writing between 600 — 1,200 words every evening that I am able to sit down at the computer, which is most evenings. So, I am making great progress with my novel that needs to get finished, and I am writing some short stories as well.

How’s your writing schedule working for you?

Reading and Writing

Reading and Writing are my two most favorite things to do. I spend as much time as I possibly can doing these two activities, which as long as we have child(ren) still living in our home, is not as much as I would like, but the fact that I have lots of friends who love to read and write as much as I do is a huge plus. It allows me to share with other like-minded people, which is great, because even my husband doesn’t really understand my artist/writing ways.   🙂

Reading and writing go hand-in-hand. To be a good writer, it is imperative to do a lot of reading, and not just books on the writing craft. Actually, sometimes you can learn more about writing from reading a fiction or nonfiction book than from some of the books on writing.

I’ve been told that I must spend a lot of time reading the type of books that I want to write because that’s extremely helpful. However, I love so many different genres that I read from a wide spectrum, which I think is also extremely helpful in many ways.

Since reading and writing are solitary activities, it’s important to be purposeful about getting out and spending some time with people. After all, that’s one place a lot of story ideas come from. Also, to just spend time with other reader/writer people helps to feed our creativity and helps us to be encouraged because, let’s face it, writing is hard work!

If you visit my blog regularly, then you’ve probably seen many of my Monday posts that are reviews of books I have read, so you know that I read a wide variety of genres and stuff that’s been published recently as well as many years ago.

What about you? What do you like to read?