Flash fiction as a writing aid

January 10, 2018

I’ve been trying to write a bit of Flash fiction purely as a learning process. By having to finish a story in 1,000 words or less I need to cut to the chase.

Among other things, I suffer from the infamous “as you well know” syndrome; that conversation that occurs solely for the benefit of the audience that would never happen in real life. (Unless you’re both drunk. In which case all bets are off)

Writing short fiction -against the clock- forces me to cut the crap and read what I’ve actually put down on paper, not what I meant to say. It’s sort of like that first edit, where you look at your work and go WTF???

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I read what I’ve written I know what I was trying to say so my mind inserts the inflection, punctuation and sometimes entire sentences, that I didn’t include in the written copy.

These problems are compounded by the fact that I have trouble putting into words what I want the reader to know/understand/feel. So my solution is to buy more books. I know they won’t cure my problems, but, truth be told, I don’t want to be cured. I just want some help putting into words what I have running around in my head.
latest collection of books on writing that are unlikely to help my flash fiction writing.
Of those books, one of the poetry books is good, the four on writing give nothing but rehashed ideas and no original content, and Grammar Girl’s “quick and dirty tips” seems useful. So that’s two out of seven. Not bad for me…. The used booksellers on Amazon and eBay love me.

In case you’re unsure of what flash fiction is, here’s what the Wikipedia has to say.
Flash fiction is fictional work of extreme brevity that still offers character and plot development. Identified varieties, many of them defined by word count, include the six-word story, the 140-character story (also known as “twitterature”), the “dribble” (50 words), the “drabble” (also known as “microfiction”; 100 words), “sudden fiction” (750 words), flash fiction (1,000 words), nanotale, and “micro-story”.


As a side note: I was, recently, forcibly, retired. The folks that bought the business kept three younger people but didn’t need this old man.

As a result, I’m dealing with depression. Although the folks on the psych sites say that what I call situational depression isn’t real depression. I don’t remember what they do call it. All I know is that they like fancy word and technical details.

My point is: if this is happening to you, quit sulking, quit being a hermit, and get your ass out there an talk to someone. I don’t care if you’re just out tire-kicking wasting some car salesman’s time. Talk to someone, anyone, because, whether we like it or not, the need for human contact is built into our genes. It won’t fix the basic problem, but it might keep us from wandering down the street talking to ourselves like the rest of the crazies.

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