Thursday, March 13, 2014

Flash Fiction (Repost)

(Rather than posting something new today, I'm reposting one of my oldest writing posts, a post on flash fiction.  I talk about it a lot on this blog, so I feel it's appropriate to highlight flash fiction again.)

Patience is a virtue.  It's tough to hold a reader's attention for a long period of time if you aren't a highly experienced author.  Flash fiction pieces help to solve this problem.

The reader's attention needs only to be held for a few minutes for flash fiction.  It also takes less time and attention on the writer's part, usually about an hour's worth in my experience.

Another great thing about flash fiction is that it can be used to experiment.  I had never written anything in the horror genre before I decided to write some horror flash fiction.  I still don't think that I'm ready to write a horror piece beyond a thousand words or two, but I'm more confident with writing it now that I have some experience.  Flash fiction has helped me branch out to many other genres that I had never written before.

Give flash fiction a chance, from both a reader's and a writer's viewpoint.  You can test out a different genre, play with a cool magic system that's stuck in your head, or simply have fun writing whatever pops into your head.  Reading flash fiction can be equally enjoyable, and even if you despise the piece that you are reading you won't waste a whole lot of time surging to the end.


  1. I never thought of using flash fiction as a way to gain experience in genres I haven't written in before, but now that I think on it, it should have been an obvious option. What a simple and easy way to try your hand at something new! Definitely a good starting point. Have you written much horror since you wrote that first piece of flash fiction? Thanks for sharing, Patrick! :)

    1. I've written about ten more horror flashes, two of which are up on (which publishes practically all submissions). It's still not my best genre for quality, but I'm getting better.

      Yeah, it's extremely helpful for dabbling in different genres. Right now I'm focusing mostly on horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and romance, but I still write the occasional flash in a different genre. If it weren't for flash, I may have never tried writing any (I always specify "clean, teen") romance, but recently I went so far as to write an 1,158-word romance story because I like to use some of the tools I honed writing my handful of romance flash fics.

      And thanks to you for the comment.