Visitors

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Flash Fiction

(This is a Damien Hirst butterfly painting. I posted it just because I think it's a thing of beauty. The original is huge 84" X 210")

After an unending, cool, damp spring, I know summer is finally here because I have the concentration abilities of a startled rabbit. I’m can’t sit still. Everything distracts me. At the slightest hint of something fun, off I go mentally or physically into some new thing at least three times an hour.

Is all this activity good for the writing? Not really but I am collecting a lot of interesting ideas and enjoying myself and my family along the way, so I can’t say it’s all bad—it’s just not very productive. I haven’t even touched my older WIPs since mid-June.

In June, I did manage to complete and submit a 13k short story for possible inclusion in an anthology. No word yet on the status of that one. I also decided to break my own rule about entering my work in contests and started writing a 3k paranormal short story.

I have to admit I took on both “short” projects thinking they would be a refreshing walk in the park and path to instant gratification. Instead these shorties are kicking my ass! I had no idea writing “shorter” was so difficult. There’s no room to ramble or get off target. I discovered the painful way shorties are concise, hardboiled little bits of fiction that require a lot of skill and planning. I’m on version six of my tiny 3K and I’m still not finished…

I deeply admire any author who can write flash and short fiction well. I’ll compare writing a short piece of fiction to cutting a very small but valuable gemstone. One must be cautious, go slowly and plan the angle of attack carefully because there’s no room for mistakes.

I’m wondering, does a background in poetry make writing short fiction easier? I have no poetic talent but I know many of you do. What do think? Do poets and authors of short fiction work from the same tool kit?

XXOO Kat 

14 comments:

  1. Thank you for dropping by. If you have any tricks or advice about writing flash fiction please share it!
    XXOO Kat

    ReplyDelete
  2. I admire those who can write that short. I find it very difficult! I know you can handle the challenge.

    Amber

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have no doubt you are up for the challenge. I don't think that I could do it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Its interesting to do this at least once because it's making me far more conscious of what I write in longer novels.
    XXOO Kat

    ReplyDelete
  5. there is amazing anthology I found that got me revved up, both physically and creatively:
    Frenzy 60 Stories of Sudden Sex.
    Be sure and catch the Genius Bar...holy Macintosh.
    amazing....I just can't do it although I did get a short cougar story (@ 12k words) into an anthology recently....good for the writing muscle really.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kat, I don't know if writing poetry helps in writing short fiction. I haven't written poetry in decades, but in the past 2 years I've sold a dozen short stories to women's magazines, mostly the Trues. I love writing short stories, perhaps because I'm an impatient person. With a short, it's done more quickly so I have almost instant gratification. Writing 3000 to 6000 words works for me. It's much easier for me to write a short story than struggle through a novel. Writing really short, 1000 or less, is more difficult. My goal is to sell to Woman's World. Those stories are 800 words, but the pay is great. So far I've had 3 rejections from WW. I've got two out to them now. Hope springs eternal. Writing a short story is a great learning experience that helps with the longer novels. In a short story, every word and action has to mean something. A good exercise. Thanks for the post.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Liz, I'll have to check out that anthology. Flash fiction is truly emerging as it's own art form and it definitely has it's own skill set.
    Cara, I'd love you to post more on this subject! I could learn something from you!
    Thank you Tessie as usual, I'm going to need your help in a couple of days! lol
    XXOO Kat

    ReplyDelete
  8. Flash fiction is tough. I can do it on occasion if I work fast and don't think too much. I have a poetry background, but it doesn't really help.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Julia! I would think you'd be good at this stuff.
    Short fiction a different animal isn't it?
    XXOO Kat

    ReplyDelete
  10. Writing short fiction can be a challenge...but you don't have to worry about adding fillers for word count! I've done some and always end up cutting and "tightening" the story. This I can do in a couple of days. The hard part is to create a really interesting plot and having it finished in a short amount of words.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Plot? Whoops, I think I forgot something... just kidding. Short fiction is challenging for me but I'm sure someone knows how to write short, tight plots.
    (Thank you for dropping by Marianne!)
    XXOO Kat

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great post, Kat and very timely. I've just started working on a shorter story than I usually write and I have to agree with everyone here--writing short means writing tight. It ain't for sissies:)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Paris! It ain't for sissies is exactly right! lol
    Good luck with your new project.
    XXOO Kat

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving a comment.