Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Up Side of Writing Flash

When I'm having trouble writing a longer piece, I close the file and slip back into a familiar place for me, writing flash fiction.  It's like slipping on a big pair of fuzzy slippers all warm and cozy - comfortable.  It helps me find the sweet spot of a story, helps me write tight, and keeps me writing forward instead of wallowing in self-pity because my story isn't working.  Yes, sometimes you just have to give yourself a break.  And I've been writing a lot of flash lately.  It keeps me going when I'm ready to throw in the writing towel and quit.  You see, with flash you can write and finish a story in an hour or two and feel like you've accomplished something.  It's a big ego boost when you're floundering.

Plus I've been submitting them, something I've been slacking off from with the longer pieces.  I've had a few accepted and they'll be published soon along with a really long story that I'm pretty pleased with (and totally excited about the market that's going to publish it).

Anyhoo, one of those flash piece is up over at MicroHorror.  Yes, I entered their Halloween contest.  I had a drabble that kept bugging me, so I lengthened it and worked in the "eyes" theme.  It was great fun, though I'm afraid it's not all that horrific.  You can check "Panic Attack" out here if you're of a mind and be sure to read the other stories that are posted.  There's some really great writers out there. 


Al Tucher said...

One to two hours?? Damn, I've only managed that once. It might be because most of my flash pieces are distilled from longer stories that didn't work.

I left you a comment on the site.

sandra seamans said...

Yeah, I can write a piece in one to two hours, but the cleaning up and polishing before submitting can take days :)

I started writing flash in a group that got three prompts a week and you learned to write fast (it was almost a contest to see who could respond to the prompt first). It took me a while to figure out that fast isn't always better.

Of course, once the basic story is down you can edit your heart out and sometimes take the story in a new direction or even longer. One of the reasons I dearly love flash.

Dusty said...

I can totally feel where you're coming from. It's the same reason I write poetry. Sometimes I just can't wrap my head around something over 1000 words.

Actually, poetry has been going better than fiction recently. I'm in the current issue of Star*line, the upcoming issue of Song Of Eretz Poetry Ezine, and today I had one posted at the Astronomer's Without Borders poetry blog.

sandra seamans said...

Congrats on all the poetry success, Dusty. Have you tried crime poetry? The 5-2 posts some excellent work.