Tag Archives: Writing

Flash Fiction and Me

I realize that I went about six weeks without publishing anything. Several people pointed this out to me and it made my heart happy to know that people actually look for, read and enjoy my stories! Someone was asking me what flash fiction was, so I thought I’d tell you.

Flash fiction is shorter than a short story. The first flash fiction piece I ever wrote (The Vessel), I wrote before I ever heard that term. I joked with my brother than the story I had written was a short, short story, a micro story or a mini story. Which made me think, was that a thing? So I googled it.

Flash fiction is a thing. It is exactly a micro or mini story. It’s a completed story in and of itself, but well under the word count for a short story, which is 1,000 to 1,500 words depending on who you ask. I had a piece that was either a shorter short story or a longer flash fiction piece. While trying to decide what it should be classified as, I ran across the best description I’d seen. It said that while a short story stood on it’s own, flash fiction hints at a larger story. That decided it for me, my piece was flash fiction.

While flash fiction has a cohesive story and an ending, it often leaves you thinking you’d like to hear more. But it is a completed story in and of itself at the same time. Is that confusing? It simply means that it tells a story, but leaves questions that could lead to a bigger story.

I love my flash fiction. For one, it lets me stretch my writing muscles so to speak. It’s like exercise, keeps me in the writing mode. Or gets me into it. Sometimes it finds its way into larger stories later on, or I end up writing other pieces of flash fiction that continue the story or tell a different part of it, like with The Vessel or Wolf Girl. The main character from The Witch in the Woods became a character in the book I’m writing.

Yes, I have a full length novel in the work as well as several completed short stories. I don’t publish the short stories on my blog (with the exception of A Very Witchy New Year, which I saw as a new years gift to my readers) because I might want to publish them or enter them into a writing contest at some point and most of those things require you to submit work that is previously unpublished. So as much as I would love to share them here, I am waiting in case I decide to try publishing.

My book is a fantasy novel set in modern times in the north Texas area. My local peeps will recognize towns and landmarks in the book. I have so far put 26 completed chapters to paper, over 26k words. I am currently working on wrapping up part one of the book, out of three. So I am about one third of the way done. I started it about two years ago. I had nine chapters down when I left my full time job in May. It’s now September and I have 26 completed chapters plus 3 partially completed ones. That’s 17 chapters I’ve completed in three months. Amazing what you can accomplish when you have time to devote to it!

I have gone back to work part time now but I am committed to getting this book done. When I have a completed, or nearly completed book, I will post the first chapter on here.

I had gotten out of the habit of posting regularly because I stopped doing my writing prompts. Yes, the majority of my flash fiction pieces come from a series of writing prompts I’ve been doing. If I sit down and make myself write every night, sometimes I get much of nothing, but other times I churn out a full short story or a piece of flash fiction and often, once in the writing mode, I continue on to work on my book. I often put something I love to paper on nights that I didn’t feel like writing, until I sat down and just did it. Recognizing this, I am getting back to my habit of sitting down on a regular basis to write.

If I skip a few weeks of posting flash fiction, you can be sure it’s because I’m fully absorbed in working on my forthcoming book. Can’t wait to share it with you all!

Freedom

So my writing is starting to have a flavor, a texture if you will.

I have wanted to be a writer since I was in middle school. I wrote short stories and poetry back then. I wrote poetry all through high school and my twenties. Then I met my husband, had a bunch of kids. Life happens.

I kept waiting for inspiration to strike. Then I started reading advice on writing and all of it boiled down to one thing. Stop waiting, stop procrastinating, stop making excuses and WRITE.

So I did. I stared four months ago. In that time, I have churned out three completed short stories, multiple pieces of flash fiction and have put just over 10,000 words to paper on the book I’m currently working on.

What I’ve noticed in my flash fiction is a recurring theme with my main characters and that is freedom, escaping the mundane, leaving behind a painful past, claiming their futures in unconventional ways, taking charge of an unhappy life by setting out on an adventure to the unknown. Be it a girl getting on a strange space craft even though she has no idea what it is or where it’s going, or a girl throwing all of civilization to the wind and taking off into the wilderness with a pack of wolves, or a business executive leaving this world behind for a more primitive one, I can see a distinctive thread emerging.

And I kind of love it! Does it reflect some internal journeys in my own life? Sure! Does it reflect what’s going on right now in my life? Maybe. As I stand on the threshold of what I have always done and what I have always wanted to do, yes, I suppose it does.

It amazes me to see an actual writing style starting to emerge. I’m watching my own metamorphosis. I was distressed at first not to be able to settle into a genre, then shocked that my first two short stories were horror though I had no desire or intent to be a horror writer nor did I imagine myself one. Then I gave up trying to label myself and just wrote! And it was glorious! I love that stories sometimes pour out of me. I just had to learn to give them that opportunity!

I gave up on waiting for inspiration to strike and took charge of my writing. I gave up on worrying about selling any of it, ever and that has been the most freeing thing of all. I just write because I love to write! When I write, I create whatever comes into my mind, there are no limits and no boundaries! And that, my friends, is freedom!