Freeing Flash

One of the questions I asked of my guest posters was “Why is flash freeing?” because there have been a number of authors tell me how much they adore flash once they take the plunge. Laurie answered.

Laurie ChildreeWriting flash is freeing because it allows the imagination to run wild without the need to have a fully completed story line. The idea is to let readers imaginations run wild and draw their own conclusions. The characters can start and end anywhere; there is no need to expose their background entirely.

The freedom to merely hint at what they are, what they do or what they plan to do makes it possible to start the story in the middle, or the end if you want. Dialogue is easier because it doesn’t have to make sense right from the beginning; there is more freedom for innuendo to let the reader’s imagination run wild from the start.

Writing flash allows me to clear my mind from the seemingly endless, mind numbing work of writing things for other people. There is no research or verifying sources, just me and my imagination. I was beginning to think it was broken after all the time I had spent writing nothing but facts about things that I had little or no interest in, following whatever guideline was the standard for the day.

A single word for a prompt with a limit that cannot be gone over makes life so much easier. You get to start by clearing your head completely. The act itself is relaxing, and relaxation is a rarity in my world. My mind is always working, even when it’s not fully functional from a lack of sleep or stress levels have hit the roof blowing it off. The best part of writing flash is the freedom to scrap it all without feeling as if you just wasted hours if the story doesn’t turn out the way you want.

Writing flash is amazing for the imagination, whether you feature lovers or a gruesome murder you get to leave a why while revealing the how. Or you can tell the how while leaving why to the imagination. There are few things as freeing as one story with a million endings, none of which you have to write yourself.

Laurie Childree is the author of two books Moments, Money & Memories and Observations Obsessions Oddities and is a contributing author to the first four Flash in the Pan anthologies. Take a moment to check out her books and her blog, Odds and Ends of a Wondering Mind.

How does flash fiction make you feel (reading or writing)? Would you like to guest post at M3? Drop Red a line through Ask Momma.

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  1. That’s a very good explanation of ti. The best flash fiction gives you just a glimpse into a much wider world, and leaves the reader wanting more. Much more.
    Binky recently posted..Spot And Dot DalmatiansMy Profile

  2. Since I stumbled upon Flash fiction, I converted a number of die-hard novel-readers-only. I feel flashing is like doodling, except with words. 😉

    As Laurie said, you let fly and what comes, comes. If you don’t like the results, it’s easy to start over without having invested hours into a ‘chapter’ or something along those lines.
    Tess Kann recently posted..Flash in the Pan – MindMy Profile

  3. To me flash is an artform like any other. Like you say, Laurie, the imagination is engaged unlike any of my other activities including writing my book. I set goals for myself to alternate settings and scenarios and brainstorm ideas with each prompt word. I write the flash, then edit down to the appropriate word count because I tend to overwrite and limiting myself while writing ruins the flash. I learn how to say things more succinctly with fewer words with the edits. Imagination is the key, and I’m up for the challenge!
    Gail Thornton recently posted..Flash Fiction – RightMy Profile

  4. You have captured the essence of writing our Flash in the Pan stories with this fine description Laurie, and I agree with everything that you have said.

    I personally just think of a theme and write whatever comes into my thoughts, and luckily the stories that I write are effortless.

    Have a very happy rest of weekend my friend…

    Andro xx


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