No, not that type of flashing. I’m talking about flash fiction, so keep your pants on. Flash fiction, a piece a thousand words or less, has always been a tricky type of writing for me. A lot of the time my ideas go way beyond that word count limit before I get passed page one. But I apparently struck gold a few weeks ago when I managed not only to write a flash fiction piece shy of the 1000 word limit. I wrote it for an upcoming flash fiction contest run by Dark Chapter Press. If I don’t place it there then I’ll submiting it somewhere else or put it up here.
The story is about a man trying to escape from an infested city. Along the way he finds something that will either be his saving grace or his doom. It has a sci-fi/horror slant to it.
I’m not sure if I’ll write more flash fiction, but I did enjoy writing it. I am pleased that I took on the challenge and conquered it. If nothing else it was a good exercise in sentence structure and word choice. All that grimy and gritty mechanical/technical aspects of writing that always need a good polishing once in awhile. In some ways it reminded me of the old proverb passed down by art professors when I was in college, ‘Less is more’. Both in writing and painting/drawing/etc its not always easy to know when or how to do more with less. A stricter budget of words caused me to use potent words rather than diluted ones. It may not be ‘sexy’ or ‘cool’ but word choice and sentence structure is the equivalent of learning the proper chords and practicing scales for a musician or stretching and strength training is to a professional athlete.
It’s easy to fill a page with copious amounts of ‘purple’ prose and exposition, but the end result would just be a meandering mess that no one would want to read. I think that it’s important to challenge myself as a writer rather than do the same old same old. A major reason for self-expression is to push the boundaries and I can’t do that if I’m always treading the same worn path.