Does fiction start from word one? Where is the fiction in a Flash Fiction piece?
Flash Fiction is very much a by-product of our times, as much as fiction is about what it is to be a human being-quoting D F Wallace. Therefore, as contemporary human beings flash fiction represents one form of evolution of fiction writing in a high-speed, over crowded, information-saturated, present.
Flash fiction is no poetry, no aphorism and no mere sentence. A six-words sentence can be a piece of flash fiction, as much as much as a 100,000 words volume can be a novel…provided that both contain fiction. The secret ingredients are imagination and creativity, which are indispensable to tell a story.
There is often some weariness of this form, a sense of limit represented by brevity and the perplexity around a piece that, by giving only very few strategic details about what happens, forces the readers to do for themselves. To put the pieces together and to stage them in the theatre of the readers’ minds, in all its complexity, it is indeed a great deal of work for a five minutes read.
Flash fiction is a very powerful pill of fiction: you swallow it on the run while you do your thing and slowly it releases its properties. Flash fiction authors face a unique challenge in creating these undiluted pieces of fiction.
This reflection on the essence of flash fiction was inspired by a conversation with a keen reader and book industry professional with many questions regarding the relationship between brevity and fiction. Every fiction reader and/or writer is welcome to contribute.