Flash Fiction

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

On Saturday, Angela and I attended a writing workshop at one of the metro-area libraries. Author Harvey Stanbrough taught us about flash fiction — a complete story in less than 100 words.

It sounds impossible, but Stanbrough had some clever examples, and we even wrote some of our own. It was fun, and something I want to keep doing, even if I never have any of them published. I’m sure there’s a market for such things — magazines always need filler of various sizes. But, I’m not sure about the ROI. They probably don’t pay much per story, so you would have to be able to churn out a bunch of them quickly to make any real money off of it. But, as a writing exercise, it’s a good way to practice very tight writing — boiling a story down to the absolute essentials.

To give you an idea, here are the two stories I wrote on Saturday:

The Premiere

I couldn’t help myself. The plot was ludicrous, the dialogue was cheesy, and the main character was unbelievable.”
“Well, he was computer generated.”
“That’s the worst of it. Real actors like us can’t find work anymore. It’s all computers.”
“So, you stomped out. There’s no crime in that.”
“There is when my tail spikes three reporters on the way out.”

Getting Through

Scott looked at the caller ID, then answered his phone.
“Yo, A.J. What’s up?”
“I need you to do something for me.”
“Mark’s been cheating us. Get rid of him.”
“You got it,” Scott promised, and hung up.

— † —

Thanks for letting me use your phone.”
A.J. took his cell back from the stranger.
“No problem.”