*I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because even Grammar Nazis make mistakes sometimes.*
If you’ve ever visited my blog on a Friday afternoon, you know that I’m a big fan of flash fiction. It’s a fun way for me to tap into my creativity, and the Friday Flash community is very supportive. I admit, I do it just because I want to hear people say, “Hey, that was pretty good.” And every now and then, I come up with something that’s not just pretty good, but almost fantastic.
Here are some reasons why every writer should dabble with flash fiction:
1. It’s an idea factory. So you’ve just finished your novel, and you’re wondering if you’ll ever have another Great Idea again. You don’t need to spend hours wracking your brain trying to come up with something. Simply find a prompt and start writing. Of course, not every flash fiction story you write will end up being a Great Idea. However, a handful of them will turn into real gold. For example, my story Iced is just begging to be explored in a full-length novel.
2. It teaches you how to write scenes. Flash fiction can be up to 1,000 words in length, but the best pieces are shorter. You need to learn how to fit a beginning, middle and end into very few words. This is exactly what you want your scenes in your novel to accomplish, as well.
3. It’s a fun break from your W.I.P. It’s important to stay focused on your project, but taking a break can help you bring a fresh perspective to your work in progress. Giving yourself permission to play around a little bit helps to spark your creativity, which will only help you when you return to your W.I.P.
4. It encourages you to turn off your inner editor. You know him – that nagging, screaming little voice in your head that tells you that your writing isn’t good enough. Well, guess what? Flash fiction doesn’t need to be perfect. There are no rules. You simply start writing whatever comes to mind, and you follow your muse wherever she chooses to take you. Unlike a novel, you invest very little time into a flash fiction piece, so if it’s just so-so, it’s no big deal. It’s OK if nine out of ten pieces are mediocre; every now and then, you will write a gem that will take your breath away.
5. It builds your resume. Flash fiction can be used for contest submissions. You can also compile some of your best pieces to publish as a collection. You can use your flash fiction to help market your novel by offering readers a taste of your work at a reduced price or for free. Once they’re hooked, they’ll be more than happy to pay full price for your other works.
For some great examples of flash fiction, visit Icy Sedgwick at Icy’s Blunt Pencil, or John Wiswell at The Bathroom Monologues. If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to “Like” or “Share” using the social media icon buttons below.
Don’t forget, there’s still time to enter my GIVEAWAY here for a chance to win a copy of Josi Kilpack’s fun new novel, Rocky Road.