Flash fiction

A few years ago, I had a three-minute thriller broadcast on Radio Nottingham, but until recently I hadn’t done any more shorter fiction. For the last two or three months, I’ve been experimenting with flash fiction and am finding it’s quite addictive!

I’m doing an online flash fiction course with Fish Publishing and I’m really enjoying it. Not sure I’ve learnt much that’s new, but it’s good to have prompts and someone to suggest ideas and provide feedback. Obviously, when it’s goodfeedback, it’s a lovely boost. They all have a 300-word limit – sometimes I make it, but sometimes I trip over into the 300 plus. I start adding details, as I would in a story or novel, and then have to rein myself in!

We’ve been trying out various ideas in my writing group as well. We experimented with a story in 100 words. Now that is a discipline, but good fun and fascinating to see what everyone came up with. Now we’re writing Christmas stories in under 500 words. I’ve been writing mine today – it’s about 530 at the moment, so I might be lazy and let it go, but probably will see if I can prune it.

Because that’s the beauty – the discipline, the close examination of every word to see if it’s essential, the ruthlessness in cutting required.

In January, I’m hoping to do Fiona Robyn’s ‘River of Stones’ and I’ve also discovered a website where you send in pieces of six sentences – still to try that. Best get going!

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