INDICATED FLASH FICTION HAS BEEN WITHDRAWN.
5-2-2022: If you have an interest in a piece “withdrawn” do not be bashful; ask for it to be restored. Time permitting, I may do so, but only if asked.
- (100) Faint Heart (blogged under “At Any Cost” 5-1-2022) What would terrify a man of iron?
- (993) Calamity Jane 12-5-2020 (NSFW) A romance publishing CFO tells how the business is fraught with danger. At least it is, she observes, for one hunky executive whenever another female executive is anywhere nearby. (WITHDRAWN)
- (995) Corrected Vision (Impertinent speculative fiction) Corrective surgery has an unexpected side effect 1-13-2021
- (100) Every December Father, Son and Grandfather 11-29-2020 (WITHDRAWN)
- (100) Fishing Buddies (NSFW) Lazy day, two buds fishing 11-13-2020 (WITHDRAWN)
- (100×2) Going Home Service buds on tour unexpectedly must say ‘goodbye’ 11-29-2020 (WITHDRAWN)
- (1067) Heartbeat (NSFW) Secret agent/spy tale with a twist 8-13-2020
- (1116) Old Men (NSFW) Vignette of old men at a political barbecue 10-7-2020
- (100) Reduced Staff Corporate says to cut back $750,000 in every region… 12-2-2020 (WITHDRAWN)
- (622) Snow Temporary assignment takes takes longer than expected 12-4-2020 (WITHDRAWN)
- (988) Spellcheck Spasms Speculative retired computist’s lamentation 6-22-2020 (WITHDRAWN)
A newer format, publishers and the writing community cannot determine what “Flash Fiction” is. All agree, more or less, that a Flash Fiction piece is a complete story cleverly compressed into a small package. ‘Package’ may run to 500 words, or 1,000 – the more commonly accepted limits. There are challenging forms allowing no more than 100, 15, or fewer words. Some push the ceiling out to 2,000 or even 3,000 words, perilously close to short-story length.
Crafting good Flash Fiction is difficult for obvious reasons. Completing a piece of flash gives a different feeling of accomplishment. Not better. Different. It takes real crust to beat the snot out of a nifty plot line to wrap it up neatly within the limit du jour, while developing characters satisfactorily.
I’ve a sneaky suspicion the form has become popular for the limited attention spans of modern readers, looking to shave minutes off their reading schedules, leaving more time to spend at the local coffee bar. Put a piece with more than 5,000 words in front of many trend-following consumers, their willingness to continue will vaporize, no matter how compelling the ‘dark and stormy night’ opening.
Dostoevsky and Maugham examples of the art aside, Flash Fiction has literary value and likely will grow in popularity. Well-executed, flash is satisfying, thought-provoking, and manageable between ordering your double-double-choco-fat-free and picking it up at the counter’s end.