Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Flash Fiction: Boogie Fear

Flash fiction is exactly how it sounds: a story in a flash. It is less than a 1000 words, but more often it is less than 500. That’s not a lot of words to cram a story into, and, for that reason, I recommend every fiction writer to have a go at writing some flash fiction.

Flash fiction teaches the writer brevity. It trains them to seek and destroy all unnecessary words.

Don’t for a minute think that writing flash fiction is easy. It is unforgiving. There’s little time for character development. It relies on story, a punchy beginning, and a pow ending.

Boogie Fear was accepted for publication way back in February. I’ve been itching for it to reach the public eye. At last it has, and, because it’s online, I can share it with my blogging friends. If you wish, you can register and vote for your favourite stories as well. I’d love to know what you think.

Have you tried any flash fiction?

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34 comments:

  1. I loved Boogie Fear Lynda. What a creative way to spend those precious 1000 words.

    I've thought about writing flash fiction, and have written a few pieces. I'm just worried about allowing any more distractions in. Someday in future, when I have more time, this seems like a great way to hone your skills.

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  2. Boogie Fear is only 500 words. It's first draft was 650 and I somehow managed to cut out 150 words. And, on reading it again 6 months later, I could probably cut out some more :P (But I don't think a writer ever stops editing her work)

    Distractions is a problem. I haven't written another flash or general short story in 2 months -- since I started my WIP -- but I plan to go back to it when I finish my first draft. I'll need a break before I edit anyway.

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  3. That was great! I really enjoyed it. But I might have to check under the bed tonight. :)

    I haven't tried flash fiction, but I can imagine it's an excellent way to learn to cut unnecessary words.

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  4. What a great idea to link your post. I've read about it. Must do. I LOVE FLASH FICTION. It's my fave writing of the mo. I've not tried for publication, but I feel my writing has improved no end since I've been writing this slash and burn style. Well done. I'm off to read your story and vote!

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  5. Seems like quite a few bloggers are writing flash fiction. I don't know that I could write it, but I enjoy reading it.

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  6. Susan, you only need to check under the bed if you are believer :P

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  7. L'Aussie, you should try for publication. Your writing is great so the more people who see it, the better!

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  8. Helen, flash fiction is difficult to write, but it is rewarding. I love reading it too because it's so short and doesn't take up a lot of my time :)

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  9. Hey Lynda, thanks for visiting my blog, I'm following you back! I've only thought about trying flash writing. I read about it more than a year ago and the idea of it terrified me! lol...I think it takes great discipline to do it well...I look forward to checking out your blog!

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  10. Welcome! Flash fiction does take discipline. A number of my attempts have turned into short stories 2k+ long ;)

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  11. Thanks for introducing me to flash fiction. Will check out Boogie Fear.

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  12. I haven't tried flash fiction yet. I'm almost more afraid of it than writing novels!
    I read your piece though. It was great!!!

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  13. Lydia, it can be daunting, but at least, unlike novels, it's over in a flash (my apologies for the pun, but I couldn't resist).
    I'm so glad you enjoyed the piece :)

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  14. I will go and check out your story. I've written flash fiction before and I was always surprised how much story could be told in few words.

    CD

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  15. Clarissa, with so many limitations on flash fiction, it is surprisng how much story can fit in. And when it's done well, it doesn't feel rushed.

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  16. I have written it before and enjoy it but like you said it is harder to do. I started with writing short stories and flash and now find it hard to expand into books. I'll go read it!

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  17. Thank you so much for reading my short story! I'm going over now to read yours!

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  18. Great story! I love how he wants to be a sock collector. :)

    So many of us are thrown into jobs that aren't right for us. Your story is so cute, but it also holds a great message in it.

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  19. Fun story! Sock collector made me laugh :)

    I've never tried flash - mostly because my writing time is so limited as it is.

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  20. great tale! (another fan of the sock collector here!)

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  21. I've been trying an experiment on my blog. I decided to a flash fiction serial of sorts.

    A flash fiction chapter a day of a tale where I am trapped in my own fictional world, hunted for the murder of the ghost of Ernest Hemingway. The ghosts of Marlene Dietrich and Mark Twain are my companions.

    I'm having fun. And you're right. It is hard to compress a story into so few words. At the moment, the plotting ghost of Ernest Hemingway has usurped my blog and is teaching how to write well.

    As a courtesy only, here is the link to the first chapter :
    http://rolandyeomans.blogspot.com/2010/07/chapter-one-living-in-crosshairs.html.

    You may get a few laughs from "Gypsy's Tale" : my cat going toe to paw with the Sphinx of Thebes as she tries to get back to me. (You can find it in the side bar.)

    You have a delightful blog, Roland

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  22. What a great read! I loved the sock collector part - in that moment, I felt like I really got to know Rupert.

    I have never attempted flash fiction; it feels very challenging to me to try and tell a good story in 1000 words!

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  23. I love when writers do short stories and flash fiction, it's very refreshing and makes them give a little bit more effort in seducing and charming their readers in such a short space :)

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  24. Wow, I woke up this morning and was greeted by many wonderful comments. Thank you so much.

    Terri, when I started thinking about novel ideas I came up with a whole bunch of short story ideas. At first I was a bit worried, but some stories are just meant to be short. Their power lies in their brevity. And some stories are meant to be longer. It's just a matter of perseverance.

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  25. Aubrie, I hadn't set out to add a message in the story (it's hard enough to fit in the story alone in those 500 words!)Sometimes stories have a life of their own and surprise us :)

    Roland, I think all writers feel trapped in their own fiction world at times ;)

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  26. Jemi, aspiring_x, Belle, Dezmond, thank you so much for your comments. Your responses mean so much to me.

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  27. Oh excellent! Congrats! Flash is tough.

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  28. Hi Lynda..though I have not tried Flash Fiction at all, my publisher keeps threatening to make me write it, cause I write really long short stories. Have been thinking I need to write atleast one piece of flash fiction in my life.

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  29. Rachna, give it a go. You may end up with more long short stories at first, but it's a great exercise :)

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  30. Thanks, Karen, that means a lot.

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  31. That was such a cute story! Very witty!

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  32. Thanks Emily, and welcome to my blog :)

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