A couple of weeks ago, it was my great fortune and privilege to win a copy of Flash Warden and other stories, by Eileen Granfors, from Goodreads (if you have not checked out Goodreads, or are not a member, you are truly missing out. It is the second best website on the internet (you’ll never guess which one I think is first)).
Granfors introduced me to a whole new style and genre of writing, and it completely blew my mind: flash fiction, micro fiction, hint fiction. It was awesome!
In case, like me, you have maybe heard a couple of these terms, but don’t know exactly what they mean, here is the quick break down:
Flash fiction = Short stories under 1000 words.
Hint fiction = Stories in twenty-five words or fewer (as opposed to “or less” as they say at the Wal-Mart express lane).
Micro fiction = not defined in the book, but perhaps another term for flash fiction (“flash fiction” also defining the “short” genre as a whole). Micro sounds small, but flash sounds fast. Kind of an apples and oranges comparison.
She gives several examples of each of the above, also including short stories (both her own and those from some of the other literary masters). At the end of each story or section, she has several flash fiction hints or flash fiction prompts, like school exercises, in case you miss those.
I have long been a fan of short stories, but this is taking that principle to a whole new level.
In one section, she has memoirs in six words or fewer. Try that on for size:
Morning love is rare but sweet.
Nightmares bring me blessed morning.
Happy is the silent sound.
Try it; it’s fun (this wasn’t one, but I guess it could be).
Her examples are more eloquent and thoughtful.
I think there is definitely a place for this short/flash genre in our fast-paced/media-crazed society. And it gives me hope as a writer. My novels are on the back burner for now, but who doesn’t have time for 25 words? Or 6? Or 3?
(Oh, and if this isn’t enough to motivate you, there are flash fiction contests. For money. Ah yeah!)
Thanks, Eileen, for the wonderful book, inspiring and inspiring. Everyone else, you should check it out. Also, I would love to see examples of your own flash fiction, Dunces. Bring it!