Flash fiction is not my favorite and anyone who knows me knows this. I don’t hate it — Shimmer has, in fact, published some really awesome flash. I suppose I’m picky about the form. I don’t like it when it exists only to set up a pun ending, and I don’t like it when it tries to do what a full-length short story does. In my mind, they’re two different forms.
But lately, I keep getting asked to write flash. My writing group holds a flash fiction challenge every January, so I took part in that. Jaym Gates is running a May Madness flash challenge, to which I was invited. And then there’s this anthology, Vignettes From the End of the World. “You’re submitting something, aren’t you?” the editor asked.
And me, who is confounded by writing flash, said “of course!” because ahahaaa. Stretching is good, right?
But flash… What the heck can you DO in 500 words? I have trouble limiting myself to anything under 2k, discovering recently that 5-6k seems to be a very natural length for my short fiction. So, a mere 500 words… I sat in a corner and giggled because what else can you do?
What I ended up doing was revisiting my travelling circus universe. Where might they be at the end of the world? What might they be doing? It could only be a brief flicker, a thing seen and then gone, so what might be glimpsed? A train, of course, moving across a flooded landscape, only to find–
Well, that would be telling. I haven’t cracked this book open to read it yet, but I’m looking forward to it. And I hope you are, too!