So, I'm starting an online course on writing flash fiction tomorrow. I'm excited because three friends from my online writer's critique group will be attending along with me. Marie, the ringleader and heartbeat of our critique group found the class and urged me and a few others to take it.
I've watched her delve into writing flash over the last year, and I've tried it a bit myself. I have a series of flashes which I refer to as the Corporate America series. One of them was published on Salome back in October. And I submitted one to Flashquake and got a note back saying that it was a bit over the top for them. I recently reread that piece and found that it's a bit over the top for me, too.
As with any class, I'm excited and am wondering what I'll learn. I like to give myself over to the process, pay attention to where I feel resistance to it and make an effort to do everything suggested, whether it makes sense to me or not.
I've taken several online courses over the past few years. Some of them have been emmensely helpful and others not so. There are many, many people out there who promote themselves as being qualified to take my money to make me a better writer. Flashquake, though, is known for its integrity as a site dedicated to the art of flash fiction and to publishing an array of talent.
Reading flash fiction, I have found so many writers I admire and have read so many pieces which have taken me into deep waters within a very short space. I like reading flash. It's all over the place in both print and electronic form. When I come across a piece I really like, I do a search for more of their work. There are some talented folks out there writing in this form. They make it look easy, but it's not.
I've seen some debate about the length of a piece of flash. Some say it must be fewer than 1000 words. Many of the publications I've seen ask for under 700 or even 500 words. I've even seen some challenging writers to submit pieces of 100 words or less.
The shortness of these fiction pieces makes them a quick read, sort of like a bag of candy I can dip into and pull out a unique flavor each time. Much fun.
But in the upcoming month, I'm going to try and hone my skills at writing the stuff. We'll see what comes out of my bag.