Skip to content

Flash Fiction

November 29, 2009

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

That’s the short-short-short Hemingway was alleged to have penned.  I prefer “Hills Like White Elephants” myself, but there’s a virtue in flash fiction for even the most loquacious of novelists, perhaps especially so.   I think of flash fiction as something between a five-finger exercise and a prelude: it has value of its own, and value in what it forces one to do.

Which is get to the point.

*brief intermission while I restore the wireless connection on my son’s computer*

Much of what is good about good flash is, as with the six-word bit of Hemingway apocrypha, only implied.  If you only have a few hundred words, you can’t muse for pages on the inequities of the human condition or think back to the protagonist’s upbringing with missionaries in Namibia or go on about the fourteen varieties of flowers covering the hills surrounding the action.  Well, I can’t, anyway.  But you can give a sense of what has come before, and what may follow, and who these people are and why you should care about them, if only a little bit and until you turn the page.

I think I need to do one or two in the brief lull between revisions and sketching.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2009 10:04 am

    Yes, a flash fiction piece must give the impression that things happened before the beginning of the story and things will happen after the end of the story. The story captures a significant moment in between. At least that’s how I try to approach my own flash fiction.

  2. December 6, 2009 5:22 pm

    When writing longer pieces, I sometimes sketch out flash pieces that would fit neatly in the seams between scenes. They never make it past that stage, but even there I think they’re useful.

    The short-shorts I write from whole cloth feel more satisfying in their own right.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Singing Stars & Shrieking Shadows

Stories and poetry of awe and horror, with reviews and commentary

Nicky Peacock - Author

Published author of YA and adult paranormal romance, horror, urban fantasy short stories, novellas and novels. On this site you'll find writing advice, information on my work, book reviews, author interviews and more...

Often Clueless, Always Shoeless

The Blog of Author Olivia Berrier


it's all just a matter of perspective...

Globe Drifting

Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.


Smile! You’re at the best site ever

Knite Writes

The Official Blog of Therin Knite

Buried Under Books

Tales of a former indie bookseller

Mary Robinette Kowal

The daily journal of a puppeteer and SF author.

Renea Mason

Author of Contemporary and Paranormal Erotic Romance Books - Love Undefined

Words, Words, Words

Write, read, repeat.


~Weaving Words in her Web~

Daily (w)rite


Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Eat, Sleep, Television

Watch as I amaze and astound with opinions about what TV shows I like!


ull new transflations -- Rosetta Stone hypothoses

%d bloggers like this: