You’ve never heard of flash fiction?
Well, actually neither had I. But it seems we are behind the times, and think of the possibilities. Ten or 11 tweets and you’re done! Well, mostly. the standard is 150 words.
You might wonder whether this is a joke, and that’s a reasonable question, but flash fiction is not only serious business, it’s serious tuition, and if you have any ambition to be a writer you’ll benefit from giving it a try.
Because you have to throw everything away. All the adverbs, most of the adjectives and almost every carefully turned phrase. You have to strip your writing down until you can see the bones, leaving your story intact, with a beginning, and middle and an end, but nothing else. No high sounding phrases, no aimless alliteration.
You’ll learn two things (at least)
- Most of the words you use aren’t necessary.
- Editing means cutting. Not just the bad lines. The good lines sometimes have to go too.
Go on, give it a try. Here’s my very first attempt. Can you do better? Leave your version in the comments.
A Modern Fairy Tale
She didn’t enjoy the ball, her slippers were too tight. The clock struck midnight. Time to escape!
Next day the town was buzzing; a royal wedding was in the air, but could the prince find his mystery bride when all he had was a slipper?
For weeks they searched for a girl whose feet would fit, till finally they came to Cinderella’s house. She felt sure the prince would recognise her, but he saw only a kitchen drudge. She tried the shoe, it was too tight as before, so the prince went on searching and Cinderella learned that if you wear shoes that don’t fit, you don’t get to marry a handsome prince.
Cinderella outlived her stepsisters and married the local innkeeper.
The prince, who had a great many shoes of his own, married the Prime Minister and started a chain of luxury shoe shops.
Both lived happily ever after.
- Opportunities For Writers (pittsburghflashfictiongazette.com)