As there are many different types of readers in this world. There is an equal if not a greater number of diverse writers, from epic fantasy tale-tellers to succinct poets, to memoirist, and journalists. While each is putting pen to paper or typing words out on a computer screen, their use of language and technique varies immensely. Of all these different types of writers in the world, my personal favorite has always been the micro or flash fictionist. And I can’t wait to read yours.
What is flash fiction? To be concise, it’s short fiction. A complete work of fiction writing consolidated into less than about 500 words. I know what you’re thinking. That’s not a whole lot of words. How is it even possible to write an entire story in 500 words? My friends, that’s the beauty of it. Allow me to tell you why you should read and/or write flash fiction.
We get it – flash fiction is short. But it’s that short length that makes it so appealing. Not only does it take less time to write flash fiction, but it also takes less time to read. In a world where a whole lot of us are focused on the phone in our hand scrolling through social media statuses, our collective attention span is small. Flash fiction only takes a few minutes to read. It’s perfect for anyone who has been saying they want to read more but just don’t have the time. And it’s great writing practice too.
Without access to hundreds of pages of words to fully flesh out your characters, setting, and plot, each word that you put on the page counts. This is a writing style that uses vocabulary effectively. There’s a very specific appreciation for exposition in flash fiction, allowing writers to show their reader who and what is happening instead of telling them.
Short fiction is beautiful. The emotion and drama a reader is capable of feeling in less than 100 words are palpable. Flash fiction is about a moment of a larger story, something poetry does very well. But, at the same time, like narratives, it has a beginning, a middle, and an ending. My favorite thing about flash fiction is the final line. Not only does it make or break the story that is being told, but it’s also capable of changing the context of everything you read before it. It’s actual magic. It’s art.
From a writer’s standpoint, flash fiction allows you to get better. You can focus on language, juxtaposition, and dialogue in short bursts honing your skills. It also just as easily sets you up for longer form fiction, if that’s your goal. Maybe your character’s story doesn’t end in the last line, maybe you have more to say.
Now that you’ve been convinced why flash fiction is so awesome, we want you to write flash fiction for us.
We are in the process of creating our first ever Bookmans zine to be released on November 17th at the Bookmans Midtown Zine Fair. Since our stores are a reflection of the community, we thought there would be no better way to represent the community then hearing directly from you. Anything and everything is fair game, as long as it’s fiction and it’s under 400 words. Any format, any topic.
You can a complete list of rules and regulations here and submit your entry by midnight on November 3rd here. Good luck!
© 2012 Bookmans. All Rights Reserved.