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Flash Fiction


Beginning my creative writing journey at age 13, I naively jumped into the project of writing a novel. Bad idea. In previous articles, I’ve stressed that writing a novel is like writing a marathon. If you haven’t practiced, even good luck isn’t good enough. Having learnt this lesson I began writing short stories, and progressively they became shorter and shorter rather than longer and longer. Was this a problem? No.

A piece of writing does not have to be long to be good, or even enjoyable. My new found love in writing has been flash fiction. Much like other lengths of writing, such as novellas and novels, how many words constitute as a piece of flash fiction is debatable, ranging from 300 words to 1500. Essentially, this causes restraints on how fully fleshed out a plot or character is. But this is where the beauty of flash fiction lies – the ambiguity means that many different people can have a very different take on what is going on. Even the writer, as have often been the case in my experience, can see a million different possibilities about where the story could go.

Flash fiction is also great for me because I tend plan a lot before I write, but with this type of writing I can just go with the flow. It has helped me adapt my techniques and loosen my obsession with intense preparation. This has also helped me feel a lot more creative, just thinking on my feet and seeing where my writing instincts take me!

I encourage all writers to experiment not only with flash fiction, but any type of writing they have not yet tried. Things that seem not suited for us are also often things we haven’t tried, but some things can really take you by surprise. Experiment, experiment, experiment!

~ JLT

Flash Fiction: What I Thought I Knew


Introductory Note: Sometimes I just have a scene in my head, no more. Just a situation that goes beyond thought and reason. There is a lot of ambiguity about what has happened and what will happen between these two people, which is what I like. I hope it makes the reader interpret into a context that fits them. There are hundreds of possibilites. It could be any one of them. Who knows?

I turned my head to look at the person who sat next to me.

I had to get up. Now.

He looked back at me. Maybe it was because of this sudden frenzy that I couldn’t distinguish his eyes between imploring and threatening. I didn’t dwell on the thought for long because a thousand other questions were grabbing my attention.

“So you’re just going to walk away,” he said. I brushed past him, knowing I should be running, but my legs weren’t responding to reason.

“Why?” his voice echoed in the half empty carriage. His voice.

All the memories and moments bound to his voice rushed through my mind … and through my heart. Avoiding his gaze along with the other staring faces, I continued to walk away. “Just tell me why you did it.”

I whirled around, astounded. “You think I wanted this?”

The whistle blew outside and I managed to make my way to the doors before they shut. I watched the train leave the platform with an unwelcome knowledge that I had seen him nod a yes.

Flash Fiction: Holding On


The Monday morning light glimmered off the chandelier and the birds sang in its arrival. A new day. My eyes were not even accustomed to the light before I thought of Gary, and the sun’s rays suddenly seemed mocking and sinful. I dropped my head back onto the pillow and groaned, pulling up the covers over my face not knowing whether it was because I couldn’t face the brightness in the room, or the truth that he was dead.

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Experimentation


I am a firm believer that writing is an art. Writing is also a very vague term as it is such a broad hobby. Do you write non-fiction, flash fiction, short stories, novellas, novels, epics or poetry? Do you read fantasy sagas, self-help articles or abstract anthologies? We all have our comfort zones, but experimentation is key for a writer. Why? Because by dabbing into another genre, you will acquire so many new skills that even if you do not like the genre itself, you will come back a much more experienced writer.

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