Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Joys of Flash Fiction

Lately I've been adding flash fiction to both my reading and writing. A good flash piece can set a scene, tell a story and pack a punch. It doesn't take as long to write a flash fiction piece as it does to write a five to six thousand word short story, but it's just as challenging.

I'm reading and writing my way through The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction,
Which is the best book I've found so far. Like flash fiction itself, instead of one long multi-chapter text, it is a series of essays/lessons about the form from different authors and teachers who specialize in writing flash fiction.

There are a lot of interesting sites around the net to read flash fiction and some that provide weekly or even daily prompts. Personally, I'm going to step up my flash fiction writing for publication. I'll also be writing and posting one flash piece a month here.

Here are some of the places I've been going for my flash fiction fixes. They are genre friendly places to read, share or submit* flash fiction.

Abyss & Apex: Magazine of Speculative Fiction


Every Day Fiction

Flash Fiction Online

Daily Science Fiction 

And here are some sites that provide flash fiction writing prompts. I plan to try them all out in the coming months. Be aware that posting your writing to these sites or on your own blog is generally considered publishing it. So if you write something you feel might sell don't post it, submit it instead!

Flash Fiction Friday
According to their site: "Flash Fiction Friday is a weekly writing project to encourage new thought and writing by providing a weekly story prompt for writers of all levels....Once you’re done post the story to your blog, website, or some place that you can share. Return to the original prompt post and submit the link in the comments."

io9 flash fiction
io9 posts a visual prompt every Saturday and encourages people to post their flash stories in the comments section. I love writing from visual prompts so will definitely be trying out some of these. (The picture above is just one example of their prompts.)

Chuck Wendig's site
Chuck Wendig's site has tons of fun and useful writing advice, so it's worth the trip even if you're not interested in flash fiction. Every Friday he posts a flash fiction challenges with interesting twists geared to make you think about and improve your writing. Do be warned his language is spicy.

*Many markets are open to flash even if they're not looking for it exclusively looking for it.

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