Why Flash Fiction?

Floating Island by Gale Titus
Floating Island by Gale Titus

Seems our literary focal length has gotten shorter over the years. Novellas are back–huzzah–and we’ve seen a welcome resurgence in short fiction since at least 2013. But Flash Fiction?

I love a variety of music, with lyrics being the one common denominator. I can pretty much listen to anything, if the lyrics say something. Good songs can convey a lot using a few words. And Flash Fiction is often not much more than a long song sans music. Not sure? Read the lyrics to Kate Bush’s wonderful ‘Cloudbursting.’ See what I mean?

One of my favorites on Twitter is #vss365 – Very Short Stories (VSS) 365 days a year. The thread restarts each day with a new prompt. Just search, write, read, enjoy, sleep, and repeat.

The average web page is 600 words, and most people scan less than a third of it before moving on. We speak at a rate of 150 to 200 words per minute, and read between 200-250 words per minute. The average internet video is 2 1/2 minutes long. No surprise then that the most popular Flash Fiction form clocks out and heads home after a mere 500 words.

All of which really means absolutely nothing. The simple truth is: People write Flash Fiction because it is fun–to write and to read. I love the challenge of trying to convey

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using only

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I think it is making me a better writer.

I know it is making me a better reader.

So I guess the question is really: Why not?

Excellent resources and support for writers of Flash Fiction at

http://www.pw.org/ Poets & Writers Magazine

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