Flash Fiction: for writers, readers, editors, publishers, & fans

Wednesday

Wednesday Writing Therapy: Reflecting Upon Flash

As much as we try to define it, espe­cially once we move beyond word count, flash eludes these def­i­n­i­tions, and each new flash and each new flash writer par­tic­i­pates in the process of both affirm­ing and recre­at­ing some pre­vi­ous sense of what flash should be.

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This sense that writ­ers have of flash fiction’s “new­ness” fits well with the cur­rent ter­mi­nol­ogy of new media, of screens flash­ing on con­tent, flick­er­ing across it, mov­ing on. Flash fic­tion might have the power to make them stop, to hold them there for a brief moment longer. Flash has the power to fill that space of the screen maybe with­out even the reader hav­ing to scroll. 

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Also, Deb Olin Unferth, in The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Flash Fic­tion talks about flash as “a place for writ­ers to talk ABOUT fic­tion, and its feats in that weird mys­te­ri­ous way that fic­tion talks beyond the story on the page.” Maybe flash rejects a bit that idea of the fic­tive dream, assert­ing itself as what it is, a thing con­structed.

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I either read some­where or made it up that Robert Frost said, “The world is not fal­len because Eve ate an apple, but because we believe she ate an apple.” Flash feels to me as if gets that post­mod­ern sense of the world, that the word after world isn’t chas­ing the Real hop­ing to cap­ture it, but each word after word is, instead, cre­at­ing that real­ity, that con­struct.

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For fur­ther read­ing, check out FlashFiction.Net’s sug­gested read­ings of flash fic­tion and prose poetry col­lec­tions, antholo­gies, and craft books, by click­ing here.

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