What do you think about Flash Fiction?
When I first encountered the concept of it, I thought of it kind of like writing for lazy people. “So you want to write, but you don’t want to be bothered to write something lengthy.” How hard can it be to spam out a 200 word story? Come on.
Then I started doing it. I’ll give credit to Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers to getting me hooked. I’ve been participating for about a month, and it’s tremendous fun. Not just to write your own, but to read some of the things I’ve seen put together.
So what’s so special about Flash Fiction?
- Every word needs to count. When you only have 150 or 200 words to play with, you can’t afford to have any wasted baggage. This causes you to really refine what you are doing. Sentences start getting cut. It gets pretty intense when words start getting cut. But that means you are getting to the good stuff. How lean can you make a complete story?
- It takes you out of your comfort zone. I guess this is specific to writing prompts and not flash fiction… But flash fiction is less of an investment, which means you are more likely to do it. Getting out of the comfort zone makes you think critically.
- You get to go through the entire writing life cycle. You plan. You draft. You edit. You proofread. You publish. You market. It’s great.It reminds me of something I read in a book on leadership. An art teacher split his ceramics class into two groups. The first group would be graded purely on the number of pots they made. Group two would be graded on a single pot… So make it awesome. Group 1 spent tons of time churning out pots. Group 2 spent tons of time… Theorizing. Sure, they made their pots at the end… But ironically all the best pots came from Group 1. The act of repetition made better pots.
- You are more likely to read them/be read. When it’s small and bite-sized, people can spare the 5 minutes it takes to read. When you start asking for half an hour, a day, a week… People start bailing on you. Flash fiction doesn’t ask for much of a commitment, and it’s generally pretty friendly on almost any device. Suddenly you get to reach a lot of people.
I’m converted. I love flash fiction. I enjoy it so much I’ll be starting my own flash fiction challenge once a week. People are welcome to participate, and I hope to see some really good stuff that will help me grow as a writer both from the challenges that I post (and attempt on my own) to the ones that I’ll read.
If you want to see the general rules, check it out here:
Looking forward to starting our fiction together!