Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Do you like to flash?
Flash fiction is typically defined as fiction that falls below 1000 words. It's difficult, to say the least, to write a good (and yes, I realize "good" is subjective), cohesive, full-on story in less than 1000 words. I guess that's why I have such a hard time with it. I continue, though, to try my hand at it. Sometimes I succeed, but most of the time, I find myself typing away in that "zone" only to realize half an hour later I've gone above the word count when the story isn't even finished. Suddenly, my intended flash piece has turned into a short story.
I could go one of two ways with this. I could freak out and run screaming in circles until I spontaneously combust or I can roll with it and finish the story. I almost often choose the latter.
It can be frustrating when you want to present your work to certain flash markets. Then those ugly thoughts hit. Can you consider yourself a good writer if you can't even fall within your own word count guidelines? Sure you can. But don't give up on the idea of it. If you want to write a flash piece, then try again. And again. A big part of writing, I think, is challenging yourself. If you're always writing the easy stuff, the comfortable stuff, how are you going to grow as a writer?
I'm a big believer in the adage that a story is only as long or short as it takes to tell it. If the story isn't finished, it just isn't finished. You keep writing, you finish, you pass it to your beta readers, you edit, revise, and all that boring stuff, and submit it to another market that is more appropriate.
Sometimes you can't flash. It happens. Keep trying.
Peace, love, and flashing,