Sunday, January 3, 2010

Thoughts on an Approach to Flash

As I formulate my ideas on the craft of flash fiction, I've come up with an annoying acronym which will serve some sort of purpose. I'm not much for prompts, though I'm coming around, what I do tend to gravitate towards is more of a general focus - a trajectory to guide the work. So, here are the four main trajectories I tend to use when writing flash:

  1. Narrative - try to focus solely on a narrative. Eliminate as much excess description and exposition as possible. Tell just the story. If you compress it tightly enough, the rest will come bubbling to the surface.
  2. Image - find an image and use your laser beam intensity to give it context and meaning.
  3. Character - that guy who used to live next door to you when you were ten? The chimerical character you just imagined? Lets' see her and only her. More than a sketch, this sort of flash does require some action to illuminate the character.
  4. Emotion - What exemplifies a particular emotion? What sort of scenario brings it to the surface. Perhaps it's a confluence of complimentary and conflicting emotions which bubble up. This is a tricky one which will borrow from the other three, but try to keep the emotion at the forefront - everything else is in its service.
So, there it is: N.I.C.E. How quaint and perfect, eh?

I also considered discussing idea, but that wrecks the the acronym and is so similar to the approach one would use for emotion that I bagged it. Fill it in yourself.

Anyhow, comments are open and I'd love to hear a reaction.

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