Thursday, July 19, 2007

Flash Fiction

I remember, decades ago now, my brother writing these short little one-scene short short short stories. The word Flash Fiction hadn't even been invented yet. I don't know that I'd ever tried writing one as my interests were always more towards epic SF&F, but I've been reconsidering it of late and have, in fact, written 2 and 1/2 stories with another one in the back of my mind.

It's hard to call them proper stories as <500 words is barely enough room to establish a character, their situation, the conflict and some sort of resolution. Most just summarize the first two, only "showing" the conflict, while "telling" the rest. The resolution is often only hinted at.

The good ones read like poetry. I think the limited word count restricts the scope of the story to something like that of a poem's and that may be the reason that, unlike most stories, many of these are written in first person present tense. In fact one could argue that Flash Fiction rest firmly in the intersection of poetry and prose.

I've been meaning to post about 365 tomorrows for some time now. I stumbled across them a few weeks back, but with a bunch of home projects (like pulling everything out of my house to replace the carpet), work, advanced java classes, and activities for/with the kids, I haven't had a chance to write about it. 365 Tomorrows is the reason why I've had an interest in trying my hand at flash fiction--as much as an exercise as anything else.

Many of the stories there are quite interesting. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be edited and a number have simple typos that, after all the editing I've been doing on other people's works, have me reaching for my editor's pen. Part of me thinks I should try looking for paying markets first, but the current market for SF is so abysmal, I doubt the pay for one of these (If one could even find a paying market) would be worth the effort or expense of mailing the manuscripts in. Still, I think I'll submit a few to this site just to see what the response is.

Now if only someone would set up a 365yesterdays for fantasy stories...