Yup, I love to flash. I do it often. In a purely non-physical sense, of course *winks*. I’ve also done a few past blog pieces on the aspects of flash fiction so go back and have a read.
When it comes to flash fiction, I use it as a go to when I feel stuck while writing longer stories or working on 7 Sins. And we know how long that’s been. Or when just needing a break, period. Or, at times when sitting around and an idea gets shot into my head by the Jewish Space Lasers I’ve recently heard about. Words must hit paper fast.
Actually, 7 Sins started as a flash piece, evolved into a short story, and then, wow, holy sharks that shit, grew out of control to a novel – which yes, is still a WIP. Don’t judge me.
So, here, henceforth we shall dive into how
grasping the ability to write flash fiction helps with many other aspects of writing. That’s correct, I wrote henceforth. Why? No clue. Take it to mean that this current blog – the one you’re reading right now – shall speak to the whys of how writing flash is beneficial and a wondrous tool to enhance one’s other writing abilities and not the entire blogspot from here to eternity.
In Flash Fiction You Will Lose The Bullshit. It’s helps in editing out unnecessary words. Those words shall be slaughtered with the stroke of a delete key: and, the, of, to, too, then, really, very, but, or any combo of these like and then. If you use the word therefore outside dialogue, well, leave this blog immediately. There’s zero hope for you or your writing. Obviously, there’s more, but hey, you get the idea LOSE FILLERS.
You will become masterful with commas, dashes, ellipses, and just maybe, *looks away, gulps* a semicolon. I said, maybe. You will get creative in word choice. Your writing won’t be a fat slug of wordiness, but a tightly chiseled Adonis worthy of sitting on a white slab of paper.
Focus. Focus. And, Well, FOCUS.
Flash allows you to maintain focus on the story. You don’t get buildy charter and story depth. You don’t bother with back story bullshits. You don’t give a gnats ass about superfluous flashy words. And you damn-damn-damn sure don’t get mired in telling too much. It’s like feeding a lion: you get in, you get out. You don’t stay for selfies. You don’t mingle and chat, slurping hot coffee. You sidestep the huge piles of dung while running out the gate.
It Gives A Needed Break.
It’s helps writers get away from a major work for a short bit. Usually short enough to go back a little more focused and energized. Maybe with new ideas and creativity, too.
There’s The Fun Aspect.
Writing flash gives the writer a different hole to plug; step outside a comfort zone; and, take on subjects and topics not ordinarily conquered. It gives the opportunity to play with voice. It affords a wild side to creativity – nothing should be off limits – because if there’s something that doesn’t fit or you don’t like, it’s like the heart of thine enemy, you rip it out.
Think of it like a math problem except without numbers and all the brain hurt. You have a box on your page and need all the words to fit. Make the box smaller. And smaller. And a little smaller. Those words still must fit.
Okay, Unfortunately Size Kinda Matters.
As for the word count in your flash pieces, that’s up to you but work on keeping them tight, concise, to the point, and typically under that magical 500 word unicorn. I’ve read longer, but those feel more short short story’ish.
Go forth and flash your way to happiness.
Good advice! I like this article. I rate it five Charleton Heston damn dirty apes. I love this: “If you use the word therefore outside dialogue, well, leave this blog immediately.”
Your words have given me hope. No, not in another Planet of the Apes (although that’d be super cool if they picked up and made it more modern instead of rehashing the same storylines), but I’m a new blog adventure. I guess it’s still forming in my brain. Updates and a new post coming soon to an inbox near you.