Flash Fiction- What Is It? Why Do It?
Hello and welcome to another visit with myself, talking about the craft of writing, authors' mishaps, and inspiration. I appreciate you taking the time to visit with me. It makes my day. And I hope you'll find today's post informative.
I wiped the back of my hands over my stinging face, then glanced down at my now blue hands and sighed. “I’ll never wear blue mascara again. Stupid Kathy. Why did you suggest it? The whole thing was your fault.”
With a huff, I sat on the stone bench next to Kathy. The cold seeped into my dark and wet ripped jeans. Replaying the events over in my mind, my chest ached. Tonight had been my first date with Tyler. We’d met last week and had agreed to meet at Spanky’s ballroom. I pulled the hem of my shirt up and wiped at my throbbing face.
Since my mom wouldn’t let me date until I was eighteen, we’d told her I was staying at Kathy’s house. We had Kathy’s mom drop us off. Tyler was supposed to take us home. The evening had been planned to a “T”. But plans have a way of changing.
I stood and grabbed the shovel laying on the ground. Bent back over the hole, I continued to dig as blue tears tracked down my cheeks. My breath labored with each pitch of the dirt. Do cracked ribs feel this way? I wondered.
“This looks deep enough, don’t you think Kathy?” I dragged the limp body over toward the hole, dumped it in. Bending down, I brushed the hair from Kathy’s now sagging and bloodied face. “That’ll teach you. Tyler’s mine.” I screamed as the first load of dirt fell into the hole.
Were you surprised by the ending? Blue Mascara is an example of flash fiction, which I wrote a couple of years ago. I enjoy this type of writing because I am a tight writer. I started writing poetry where words had to be carefully chosen. But what is flash fiction?
Flash fiction is writing a short (150-1000 word) piece about an image or topic. Many authors use this to spark creativity while others use them as jumping off points for stories. A few author friends have taken a flash fiction 500 word piece and turned it into a whole book.
Flash Fiction is more fun doing it in a group, where each story is unique and takes on the flavor of the writer. One of my author friends, used to host a Friday Flash Fiction on her blog each week and post the different authors' stories. It was fun to read the stories and see how different each of our stories were. I liken it to going shopping with another person. Each one tries on the same dress but how they style it makes the dresses unique.
So next time you are stuck or in a rut, give flash fiction a try! For the first time, try about 500 words as a minimum (and realize you will have to only do a scene not the whole book). Here's a photo to get you started....
What would you write about this image? Post your flash fiction in the comments and everyone will be able to see and share! There aren't any wrong answers! Just write!
Here's a little sneak peek at my current WIP (work in progress)... stay tuned for Coming Home to arrive this fall.
Jackson tugged his jacket tighter around his shoulders and wrapped his bandanna around his neck. The wind had picked up sending a chill through his bones. July in the mountains was very different from summer in Ohio. He’d have been in beach shorts and t-shirts, hanging out at Lakeview, and checking out the bikinis on the sand. Not in jeans and flannel, on top of a mountain.
He inhaled, catching the scent of grass, his horse, and the herd in front of him. Twenty-six heifers and their calves fattening up to replace the older cows which were headed off to the meat plant. The circle of life. Never get attached to the food. Jackson learned the lesson his year in 4-H when his prize sow became someone’s rib dinner. It had felt like losing a pet, but he never named another animal again.
Until next month...take care and enjoy a good book!