Return to site

Why flash fiction?

· On Writing

When I was younger, I'd imagined that I could be a great, or at least very good writer, if I could only find my area of virtuosity. Perhaps it would be bawdy bodice-ripping novels or existential poetry or mumblecore screenplays... But while I have always been infatuated with beauty of language and the rhythm of stories, it took me too long to discover that the very short story was what I love the best.

More than a decade ago, I started writing short stories and flash fiction competitively. I adore being able to immerse myself deeply into a genre, time period, location or character — for just a little while. To deeply research, even for the most fantastic of fiction, and then to have the freedom to go learn about something new. It's my capricious nature that draws me to short fiction, and it's the ability to constantly pursue a new tale for that day's mood that keeps it fresh. Most of all, I appreciate the careful craftsmanship of the very short story — the opportunity to choose just the right words and to use only the number of words needed.

There can also be a poetry to the prose, a mellifluence that would be difficult to sustain over too many pages.

As a reader, I love the satisfaction of consuming a whole story in one sitting — coming away from a coffee break having been absorbed in something new.

There's so much to explore and to read and to drink in the world, it can seem overwhelming. But, just to focus on flash fiction, and perhaps just on champagne, seems something I can do.