National Flash Fiction Day is June 21 and I am excited! I am hoping I am brave enough to enter some of my work in some contests. It would be even better to win! Flash fiction is a very short story. It is the art of using the precise words to convey a story that readers can fill in easily. It has to have strong characters, or strong setting, or strong dialogue that gets the story’s message out without coming right out and saying it.
Gustave Flaubert, author of Madame Bovary, felt that the key to literary quality was found in what he called “le mot juste” or “the right word.” This is the crux of Flash Fiction. You must find just the right word to use to convey what is easier said in ten words. You have to do it such a way that you hint at the story and let the reader’s mind fill in the rest of the story. It is not easy, but it is liberating.
Ernest Hemingway demonstrated this in his “flash fiction”. His friends made a bet with him that he could not tell a story in six words. He won: “For sale: baby shoes, never used.” This story spawned the Six Word Memoir Project by Smith Magazine in which people from all walks of life penned six words that told the story of their life. One woman wrote, “Happily turning in to my mother.” Another person wrote, “Head screwed on. Body Unscrewing. Screwed.” You can also add yours at www.sixwordmemoirs.com; or just read more of what others wrote.
To get me going in the direction of submitting my Flash Fiction, I did post to a site www.100wordstory.org. They offer a monthly photo prompt and then you have to tell a story in 100 words. Challenging. I posted my 100 words and 120 others (to date) have too. I wait to see if I get published or one of the many others do. In the meantime, I will continue to write Flash Fiction and will hopefully submit to contests or to be published. Please tell me if you have ever done some Flash Fiction. Hope to hear from you!