For much of this year I have been writing short stories and entering competitions – which has been useful practice. At the same time they have been giving me more confidence in my writing, learning my craft. With each story, I learn something new. Looking back at stories, I can already see changes in my writing over the year.
I have found the challenge of writing to writing to a deadline. Most competitions will provide a maximum word number; if it is exceeded, they won’t even glance at the story. (My preferred length is 3500 words.) More recently I have discovered the world of flash fiction and microfiction and yet another challenge.
Flash fiction is a brief piece of prose; the term short, short fiction used to be (and is still) used to describe this type of story. While there is no definitive definition of word length for flash fiction, it seems that many agree it is under 1000 words. I have also seen stated word lengths of 600, 700, 800 word count. Then there is microfiction – stories less than 300 or 500 words. (again there are different definitions of word count and a multitude of other descriptives for this story length).
Initially a shorter short story sounds ideal – less character development, less description and less complicated story lines. This is not so. I have managed several flash and micro fiction stories over the past couple of months. With the word limit restrictions to support the more traditional plot structure without becoming a vignette. There has to be economy of words. No floury prose here. Excellent practice for trying to perfect ruthless editing.
I have just sent off an 800 word flash fiction: At Aunt Enid’s to an anthology competition (and have to wait til January for results). I have just submitted two pieces of microfiction stories to a children’s anthology: Mum’s Theory on Cats and Lost. When I have finished a battle with a plot device and segue then I will have another flash fiction ready for competition.
Costume: Australian Costumers’ Guild Quiz Night approaches. I am hoping to wear my Donna outfit… here is a hint
Writing/Reading: Current Work-In-Progress (rewriting) – Flash fiction: The Day of the Derigible. (Steampunk genre)
Other little Green Men? – adapted from the final episode of the TV series Star Cops (UK): Little Green Men and Other Martians.