I'm ridiculously excited about National Flash Fiction Day. Why? Because I OWE flash fiction. I owe it big time.
Some time, many moons ago I stumbled across a twitter chat between @AMhairiSimpson and @TimonySouler talking about a contest lovely Timony was launching. That contest was the Divine Hell blog challenge and it turned out to be my first ever attempt at flash fiction.
Now, several months and more than 80 flash fiction stories later I'm a flash fiction aficionado. More than that it has transformed my writing life. Here's why:
1. It hones your writing. In the last couple of years I haven't just written flash. I've written two novels. But the improvement in my writing between novel 1 and novel 2 has been vast. Why? Because of flash. Because flash focuses you on a snippet. No word is wasted. Everything counts. In just a few words you need to do it all: vivid language, exciting sentence structures, impactful metaphors, alliteration, structure, characterisation etc etc. You learn. There is no quicker to liberate your voice.
2. It gives you friends. The flash fiction community is one of the most supportive, interactive and engaging communities in the Twitterverse. Clever, inventive, fun people all playing with words and helping each other out. I have met SO MANY great people through flash fiction. And I'm looking at YOU Anna Meade, Ruth Long, Stacy Bennett-Hoyt, Jenn, Kern Windwraith, Timony Souler, David A Ludwig, Mike Manz, Stevie McCoy, Lena Corazon, Rebecca Clare Smith, Lisa Hollar, Cara Michaels, Siobhan Muir, Jeffrey Hollar... the list goes on. Bloody brilliant writers, helping other writers to be better writers. Flash fictioneers, I salute you!
3. It gets you out there. With a contest for every day of the week, there's no excuse not to be putting up your work for public scrutiny. You get used to risking your babies in the public domain. You get used to offering and receiving critique. You climb down from your ivory tower and get sociable. YEAH.
So I am pleased and proud to be participating in National Flash Fiction Day, run in part by Once Upon an Unexpected Fairytale's very own Susi Holliday.
You can find my submission, Ever After, appearing on the "Flash Flood Journal" National Flash Fiction Day blog at 11pm on 16 May along with a steady stream of great, bite size stories. Stop by and enjoy.
Flash Fictioneers - ASSEMBLE!