I seemed to have missed the flash fiction train. It seems to be quite a big thing, particularly online. Having mastered the art of the humongously long novel and short stories that are actually novelettes, brevity isn’t something that comes easily to me.
It hasn’t always been like this. I remember writing short stories that were, actually, short. I even remember writing fun “novels” which were deliberately only a page long. And then the other day I found a paragraph on my computer that I had entirely forgotten about. I don’t remember when I wrote it. I don’t know what I was thinking at the time.
It was untitled and was less than 100 words long, just a paragraph. It was staccato with no complete sentences, often just single words, or several strung together in a rather poetical style. But it was quite utterly the most brilliant thing I had ever written. Clearly it must have exhausted me, those 97 perfect words, because I had never gone back to it and then forgotten about it altogether.
What a find! I’ve been inspired to finish the tale, or – at least – add to it, because the entire story was already visible in that brief paragraph. I realised it was rather like writing poetry, where every word counts, where rhythm is everything, where imagery was paramount.
It’s the most exciting experimental piece I’ve ever attempted! Because it’ll barely scrape the 1000 word mark, it will then be classifiable as flash fiction. My first!