French Bread, Flash Fiction and other "nice" F-words
like sensuous dancers
around my nose,
forests far from home,
crusty, sweet breads
Fight or flight,
of a future
The letter “F” starts many words finding frequent appearance in discussions of life. The fires of summer and passion – I like those. Freedom – there are many voices of freedom fine-tuned to current cultural or political desires. Or freedom, as in release from the confines of prison, marriage, a discordant note, an unhappy job, or physical pain that has been borne far too long.
And all fit nicely into themes for short stories, or my more recent passion – Flash Fiction. The definition of flash fiction is as varied and flexible as the themes and authors. In general, flash fiction is any complete short story with 1,000 or fewer words. Others use 750 words as their upper limit. And then there’s micro-fiction. These fascinating tales range from the hard to believe six words, up to about 500 words.
The key is brevity – making every word, phrase, sentence, and idea hold more than meets the eye. Composing good to great flash fiction demands that the author evaluate every element for significance and toss descriptions, ideas, and side-story information that might actually enhance a longer story.
This is one reason I enjoy composing and reading flash fiction. The discipline reminds me of good poetry where only the essential heart of the message lands in print, while retaining enough clues and what I call “windows” into deeper layers, visible to each reader individually according to their inner reality or perceptions and experiences about life.
This blog, for example, contains an excess of verbiage compared to any flash tale I might pull together.
Many websites have popped up over recent years where you can visit to enjoy some good tales and then submit your own. It’s great fun. Why not try a few?
Some sites to visit:
WritersType -- http://www.writerstype.com/
Flash Fiction Online -- http://www.flashfictiononline.com/
Smoke Long Quarterly -- http://smokelong.com/home.asp