Posted in Reading, Writing

Flash Fiction for Summer Lightning

Frank Shannon
Flash Gordon saves the universe, with a little help from his bearded friend (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This time last year, I chanced upon a phenomenon completely new to me: Flash Fiction, known simply as “Flash” to its fans.

Previously, if anyone had asked what I thought of “Flash”, I’d have assumed they were talking about classic sci-fi hero Flash Gordon (perhaps because he shares a name with my husband, Flash Young – no, only kidding, it’s Gordon, of course!) Still, there are worse associations that might have sprung to mind.

Little did I know on this first encounter that it was something I’d quickly come to love. (Again, just like my husband.)

Flash What?

Cover of Bart Van Goethem's book Life's too short for long stories
I love this tiny book! (Photo by me)

“So what is Flash Fiction?” I hear you cry. Well, it’s a very, VERY short story, usually under 1,000 words but often much shorter – 500, 100, 50. (For comparison, this article contains 285 words.) I even know of one writer, Bart van Goethem, who’s managed a story of no words, simply by using the title “Memoirs of An Uninteresting Man”, with nothing beneath it.

Flash is perfect for anyone who thinks they have no time to read. Just a few seconds on the page will nourish your imagination for hours. It’s a form of fiction that lends itself well to the modern age, being easy to download and read on a smartphone or tablet. But technophobes won’t miss out – there is plenty available in book form too. I hope to be publishing one of my own soon.

This month brings the perfect opportunity to find out more: the second National Flash Fiction Day on 22nd June.  Last year there were lots of free downloads available on the day. Free samples on my blog all year round, too.

(Fades to “Flash Gordon” theme music…)

This article was originally written for the June 2013 edition of Hawkesbury Parish News.

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