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PeterSJC

Flash Fiction

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The Flash Fiction forum, which I have recently discovered, leads me to wonder:

* Why is flash fiction in the forums, rather than integrated with other stories? For example, I stumbled across James Savik's With a Whimper in the Flash Fiction forum but cannot find it on his page. It seems to me that a lot of readers must be missing out on some very fine short stories.

* Is there an agreed-upon definition for flash fiction? At what point does it become a "short story"?

p

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47 minutes ago, PeterSJC said:

* Is there an agreed-upon definition for flash fiction? At what point does it become a "short story"?

Regarding my second question, I may have an incorrect concept of what flash fiction is, which would be why i generally avoid it. For instance, I consider both With a Whimper and bilal's Javed (posted in the Bull Pen) to be excellent short stories that give me a sense of completion. On the other hand, Gee Whillickers's After School Surprise, something that I would consider flash fiction, leaves me frustrated, echoing Colin's question, "When are we going to get the next part?"

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Flash varies, depending on who you talk to. Some say 300 words; some 500, we went for 1,000.

Gee's 'After School Surprise' is, technically, complete. You might not like the ending, but it has one... or, perhaps he's leaving it open for someone else to continue?

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Thanks for the clarification. In retrospect, I could have looked this up before posting. <sigh>

OK, so the upper limit for FF (here) is 1,000 words. Is that also the lower limit for short story, or is there some area of overlap, e.g., 500–1,000 words, where something could be considered either?

My real question, though, is why flash fiction is locked into the ghetto of a forum, where it is so much less visible.

p

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I think flash fiction has been presented in a forum, Peter, because it is often written quickly, sometimes at a single sitting, and quite often acts as a prompt for other writers here who, in turn, have offered up their own flash pieces.  It seems to incorporate a certain element of spontaneity and by self-publishing these we avoid burdening Dude with the necessity of accepting, formatting, and posting these short works.

That’s not to say that flash cannot be an art form.  It can be as carefully constructed, revised, reviewed, and edited as is a short story.  Short does not necessarily mean casual, and I am reminded of the shortest of all flash pieces, six words written by Ernest Hemingway, and certainly a masterpiece of the form:
     ‘For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.’

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Merkin, thanks for that background. I guess I would argue that there is already a forum—the bull pen—where people can post things that are not ready for prime time. An argument for the status quo is that all the flash fiction is in one place. If flash fiction were posted both in the forum and on the author's home page, both goals—findability and visibility—would be achieved. For now, I will satisfy myself by reading them in the forum.

p

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Based on the point of view that flash fiction is a legitimate sub-genre of short stories, Codey's World accepts, formats, and posts flash fiction, and announces it as such. Anyone who has a flash fiction story that they'd like to post on Codey's World can go to http://www.codeysworld.com/submissions.html, read our submissions guidelines, and email the story to us. You will get a response.

I have a separate section on my Codey's World author's page for my flash fiction at http://www.codeysworld.com/colinian/#flash-fiction.

Colin  :icon_geek:

 

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Sometimes I use flash fiction to test drive ideas. I think that's how Twilight In the Shadow of the Dragon started.

Other times it's just for fun or... maybe I'm axe grinding. With a Whimper was a one shot in which I expanded on the idea: what if antibiotic resistance gets progressively worse? It's bad enough as it is but, it could get a whole lot worse: Black Death worse. Pandemic worse.

Who knows? Maybe I plant a seed with that story in someone's mind. I am by no means the only person who is watching this situation nervously. I think its a dangerous situation that not a whole lot of people are aware of.

I have a garage full of axes to grind.

CautionAxeGrinding.jpg

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OK... I have been considering adding Flash Fiction to the regular AD site for a long time.  It has been a part of the AD Forums for some years now and it's become such a popular literary form that it's time to give it its due. 

Just how to do so, is the issue.  Give me a couple of weeks to ponder this and consider the options. 

I'll be putting up a post here in Dude's Desk with a poll to find out how you folks want to do this.

Mike

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Just to chime in with agreement to both Merkin and JamesSavik. I tend to write my flash fiction pieces quickly, on the spur of the moment, in one sitting, usually right when an idea springs to mind. I too sometimes use them as a bit of a sounding board for a possible longer story idea.

 

PeterSJC, I appreciate your thoughts on my latest, and acknowledge the issues with the ending.

 

Sometimes this is the goal of a short flash piece, and is intentional.

 

Sometimes a flash I write is a response to something that happened to me or something that's happening in the world at large and I feel a reason to write something in very short fiction format about it.

 

I'd be interested in seeing the flash fiction section as part of the regular site rather than the forums as well. I think readership might increase.

 

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I remember hearing a writing instructor say: It's not the number of words, it's what you say with them.

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My opinion is, if someone writes a short story and wants it included in the short story area of AD, he can submit the story to Mike as such.  If the story is 1,000 words or shorter, that shouldn't matter.  

In other words, if he wants the story to be Flash Fiction, he can post it in the forums as such. If he wants it to be seen as a short story, even if it's quite brief, he also has that option.

C

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