Approaching Totality

Solar Eclipse As I write this, I’m waiting for the solar eclipse and thinking about flash fiction.

Because I don’t live in the path of totality, the sun won’t be completely blotted out today, but it will be partially covered. Not fully visible, but still there, underneath the darkness.

In flash fiction, the brevity of the form means that not all of your story will be visible on the surface. You have to trust your characters and story enough to know that all of it is there, to reveal enough to let readers understand what may not be spelled out.

My microfiction “Filament” was just published in Blue Fifth Review, a journal specializing in poetry, very short prose, and forms that walk the line between the two. “Filament,” sparked by an image one of my students suggested during a workshop, has been pared down quite a bit, from flash (around 500 words) to micro (less than 300). I like it in its leaner, tighter form–just enough light shining through to reveal the essentials.

I’ll be exploring the boundaries of flash and microfiction in my writing workshop “Flash Fiction Speed Dating” at Hollihock Writers Conference in New Bedford on Sunday, August 27 at 2 p.m. I hope to see you and write with you there.

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