10 comments on “Thoughts on Flash Fiction

  1. I guess you’re talking commercial distribution here, as #FridayFlash on Twitter seems to be thriving (add to search, go read). I’ll work from that assumption.

    Like you, I enjoy writing and reading short fiction — I have many people IRL demanding pieces of my time, and absorbing (or writing) even a short piece requires me to “steal” (their perception) time that others think should be dedicated to them. I did end up writing two novels, and a large chunk of a third, over the last few years — only because I began posting them as flash-sized episodes to my blog, and people making nice comments gave me an incentive to finish. 🙂

    It doesn’t help that most fiction magazines, the primary (maybe not, these days) market for short fiction, tend to have a lower limit of 1200-1500 words for submissions. Anthologies, collections of shorter works into a novel-sized book, are another traditional publishing route, but the stories often first appeared in magazines. But… if you’re publishing your own anthology, you can include as many flash stories as you like.

    Perhaps the newfangled way to go are what Amazon calls Kindle SIngles — if I heard right, Amazon originally intended for Singles to be short non-fiction works, but people are starting to publish novellas or mini-anthologies (two or three short stories) using Singles. A Singles anthology of flash fiction could easily contain 10 flash pieces.

    Just a couple thoughts.

    • Not thinking specifically of commercial distribution. The vast majority of readers I have are other writers. I do have some just plain old readers, but they’re in the minority…I would guess. I have no doubt the flash is growing, but try this: Poll ten or your friends or acquaintances who are not writers but are regular readers. Ask 1.) What is Flash Fiction ? 2.) Do you read it?

      Kindle Singles. oooo…I’m intrigued. I love my Kindle. I know that my Dad subscribes to several newspapers on his Kindle. I wonder if that’s not a bad model either.

      Thanks for your thoughts!

    • What would you guess the readership of #fridayflash is? in the 100s? 1000s? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? If it ain’t in the Hundreds of thousands or millions, it’s not anywhere close to where I think it could be.

      • I’d say the readership is in the low thousands. Definitely not what it should be, but Twitter is as scattered as the birds it’s named after. 🙂

        I once threw out a general Twitter query about whether it’s worthwhile for a writer to be on Facebook. The answer I got was “as I understand it, the writers are on Twitter and the readers are on Facebook.” So maybe we need to port #FridayFlash over to Facebook somehow.

      • Yes. Set up a facebook page of fridayflash and promo all of our friends to “like” it. Not a bad idea considering twitter has only 40% of facebook’s membership.

  2. I adore flash. I started out my writing career writing flash, and I can’t count the number of ways it’s improved my writing across the board. Your business models are veeerrrrry intriguing…let me know when you get that fan page set up, and I’ll like it and bully (I mean, “SUGGEST”) that everyone I know like it, too.

    You have some very viable ideas here for flash. HMMMMMM.

    • It’s really helpful and encouraging to know that you started with flash. As far as business models, as a non-aspiring writing I would be content for anyone to steal my ideas and run with them. I can’t give that much energy to it now. FridayFlash kind of originates with Jon Struthers…he runs the collector. I’d like him to set up the facebook page since he holds the keys to the collector.

      Interestingly, the day after I wrote that piece, I bought a bottle of wine (Big Yellow Cab) with a flash on the label! Wow!

      • I’ve participated in #fridayflash a number of times, and it’s a blast. I know all about time constraints, I’m up to my armpits with very little wriggle room. But, I have a feeling flash is about ready to blast open, and I’d be all over that.

        Yep, sure did start off in flash, and it will always be my first love. Becoming proficient in writing succinctly really improved my non-fiction, as well as teaching me the importance of word choice and placement in longer works. Every writer should take a whack at it.

        Oh, I’ll be back. You’re just too funny to miss.

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