I completed a second weekend hosted by Word Tango with Kathy Fish as the teacher, a couple of weekends ago. A birthday present to myself. I like Tango, I like words. I love Word Tango. The focus for the weekend was flash non-fiction. My, oh my it was a good group of writers. I was honoured to be part of it. During these weekend sessions conducted via the forum site, Kona, Kathy posts a lecture and some prompts on day one. And then another extension to the prompt on day two. The writers then get on with it and give each other feed back in a thread.
Unlike Argentinian Tango where I can’t make any moves although I adore the dance and the music, I’m not a beginner in writing flash. I’m not an expert either. They say it takes several months or longer to get the basic steps of Argentinian Tango. Then you improvise and improve over many years. Lovers of the dance spend their whole lives going to Milongas, getting close up, becoming more intricate, learning about space. Now I’m in my fourth year of flash fiction writing, I’m past the basics and getting bolder. The word-dance in flash fictions should set people on fire, ignite their passion. Everything that goes into the Tango.
The interesting experiment on this weekend with Kathy, was the challenge to weave flash fiction memoir extracts into different orders and to think about the use of space. A generalisation, but it’s my view that writers born in other countries seem to find it easier to think about white space when composing flash fiction. Is this because of our densely populated island, I wonder? My piece was fine, but I think it was too packed. I’m re-drafting now to break it up after seeing what other people produced. I’m cutting and trying out different arrangements, using short paragraphs, lists.
It was really a wonderful dance that weekend. I highly recommend writers have a go at one of these weekends. Word Tango also has a writers’ community with great support for people. I’ve yet to check that out, but I believe that on their current submit-to magazines-and-competitions-day they’ve been suggesting writers submit pieces to the latest round of Bath Flash Fiction Award. So I’m very pleased about that too.