Posted in Blog Posts

Flash fiction: the mastery (or tyranny?) of form

Flash fiction is a form with such tightly controlled standards that – for me – attempting it is like joining the marines. And I just don’t have what it takes. My usual authorial endeavours are a bit too akin to guerrilla warfare for me to stray too often onto the open battlefield that is the flash fiction market.

Yes, all stories need a beginning, middle, and end. You need to introduce a character, set up their arc, and then watch them complete it. But somewhere along the way, the structure of flash fiction has narrowed to include that little twist at the end: a bow that ties it all together. But when you are required to telegraph your intent so clearly, how do you hide the seams that show where you stitched this all together?

So, I turn to any other writers out there to ask:

Where do you draw the line between what work the author needs to do and what work the reader needs to do?

What are your thoughts on flash fiction, as either a reader or writer?

Chime in with your thoughts below!

 

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Author:

Ashleigh Rajala is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in numerous journals, both online and in print. Past incarnations of hers include filmmaker, zinester, bookseller, bureaucrat, wayward traveller and commune-dweller. She lives with her husband and an extraordinarily fluffy cat in Surrey BC, on the unceded traditional territory of the Coast Salish peoples.

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