Saturday, 17 July 2010

Did I Mention I Hate Flash Fiction?

“I hate you.”

Mr. Flash regards his shoes.

“You speak in sentence fragments.”

There was once a love. An interest. Then things. Slowed. Down. Sentences were becoming so short, the comma was dying out. Then – a metaphor! Black skies? Blue seas? A lingering look? Something telling. Yes. It reveals character. Because. You. Can. Reveal. So. Much. With. So. Little.

“I still love you.”

No. It can never be. Oh, Mr. Flash! You say so little, but mean so much! How do you get so much meaning into one sentence! Those clipped phrases. It’s like . . . are you a poet or something? It’s like poetry, but it’s prose! What? Proem? Prosetry? No. No, I don’t like those words.

“Come to me.”

I mustn’t! I must present an emotional conflict. I must be real. I must relate to the reader! They only want to read about real things with meaning. Oh, the meaning! Yes, I must make them cry! Perhaps. I should. Slow. It. Down. For. Dramatic. Effect. A startling image? A baby, yes. A baby has been left behind. Where? Umm. In a concentration camp. Too much? This is not real. This is history. OK. A baby, yes. Is crying. Of course. Always crying. The mother is. She is. Umm. She is dying. Of a broken heart. No. Trite. Of cancer. No. We don’t know! Ha, yes! How cryptic. The reader must imagine great depth and feeling and intensity where there is none. The mother is dying. A leaf is falling outside. What a powerful image, oh, it speaks of such sadness. She is thinking. About her baby. She will be dead before her baby is. Yes. She will never know her. Uh-huh. What? More images? A squirrel is. No. A cat is. No. A photograph! Of course. Her baby. Or her husband. Or both. This is powerful. She cries again. The tears do something new. Roll down her cheeks? What a cliché! No. They go into her ears. Yes. She hears her tears. Oh, those tears. Those bitter tears. My baby, I will never see my baby again! My poor baby! Oh, my darling child, etc.

“That paragraph is waaay too big.”

I know. Isn’t it wonderful?


  1. Hehe, I'm glad you posted that here and not the Napier blog... I would have looked like an idiot if this had been next to my 100-word dead husband story. :P

  2. Oh yes, I read that. Very suspenseful. If flash fiction does anything well, it's capturing little scenes before they go flash-bomb. Trouble is, I want to know more! :)

  3. I'm no fan of proems either, but I think I could get into prosetry if I had the chance.

    And your last pagraph made me cry. Of course while I was reading it, I was also watching a YouTube video of a baby kitten, sorry, kitteh trying (and failing) to get her mother's approval so she instead had to turn her affection to her best friend, a unicorn-pegasus pony named Bambie, and together they managed to save the rainbow. But I'm sure it was the fine prosetry of "I know. Isn't it wonderful?" that triggered my tears. Tears that fell to the earth like diamonds.

  4. I like attempting good flash fiction.
    I like reading good flash fiction.
    I hate the crap sentiment that flash fiction is all people are prepared to read/have time for/have the attention span for now.

    Your flash fiction blog was funny.
    Except, you should have substituded a lot of those words with emoticons!

  5. Chris: Ha. Ha. Ha.

    CC: That is the saddest thing I have ever heard. I must put it into a flash fiction at once, using the many colours of the rainbow as potent "symbols" for the profound beauty of life, etc.

    Mike: sry 2 hv dsspntd u. wll try hrdr nxt tm! :) :) :) :-)

  6. Exactly why I don't feel like writing anymore. Good one Mark!

    PS: My blog has changed. Please make sure you change your feed so you can still follow - if you like

  7. You moved me.

    Okay, so maybe I snorted and fell off my chair, but that is still moved, right? love the debate on how best to manipulate us.

    Mari-I snorted at you too. Oh yeah, snortsville all around.

  8. Jen: Ooh, new blog? Can't wait to see...

    Hart: I hope you didn't damage any ligaments. Accidents are no laughing matter, young lady.

  9. There is no such thing as a good flash fiction story, because all flash fiction sucks.