Flash fiction seems to quite fashionable in the blogosphere these days. Much more so than when I first started blogging a dozen years ago and more than when I quit my last blog around two years ago.
At least half of my posts since I returned to blogging this past May are flash fiction, and many of those pieces are in response to other bloggers’ prompts.
But what exactly is “flash fiction”? Its definition seems kind of fluid. It’s obviously fiction, we can all agree on that. But I’ve seen it characterized as stories ranging from “extremely brief” to up to 2,000 words. The idea is to tell an entire story — beginning, middle, and end — within the specified word limit.
Many of the flash fiction prompts I participate in set word limits, usually between 100 to 200, although some I’ve seen set even lower limits while others set no limits. Some set limits based upon the number of sentences or paragraphs rather than words.
I am challenged by flash fiction with word limits because I’ve never been a very concise writer. Left to my own devices, I tend to write longer posts. In fact, I wrote an entire post back in July about how brevity in writing is not my strong suit. That post was almost 500 words long!
But that’s why I participate in these flash fiction prompts. They force me to tell my story in fewer words than I would otherwise use. They require me to be brief, concise, selective in my choice of words.
Besides, who has time to read a 500-plus word blog post in these days?
Written for today’s one-word prompt, “fashionable.”