I love good definitions of flash fiction. There’s some marvellous ones listed in the back of Flash Fiction International, the anthology of world-wide writing edited by Robert Shapard, James Thomas and Christopher Merrill, recently reviewed by Santino Prinzi at bathflashfictionaward.com. But the definitions below also capture the essence of the form really well. They’re from a great blog post by the Netherlands based author, Richard de Nooy, who has won the micro-fiction contest adhocfiction.com twice, most recently last week. His winning stories are linked in his blog.
Richard had a twitter conversation about flash fiction with award winning flash writers Emily Devane and Sharon Telfer and here are the definitions they came up with:
Richard says “Flash fiction forces writers to develop motif, setting, character and story at high speed, drawing readers in like moths to flame, before blowing out the candle, leaving them in darkness, wondering what the hell they just saw and wanting to read it again in slow motion.”
Sharon adds”For me, it’s as much about depth and layers. Infinite riches in a little room”
And Emily’s response is .”That’s what’s great about short short fiction: it can be anything from impressionistic sweep to microscopic focus“.
Read the whole of Richard’s blog here.
I’m excited that the Bath Flash Fiction anthology, volume one is at the printers. There’s a hundred and forty five pieces from eleven different countries drawn from the first four rounds of the Bath Flash Fiction Award. And those stories fit the definition of flash fiction above very well. They linger, they resonate. You have to go back to read slowly. There are sweeps of life, or minute foci. I can’t wait to see what the book-in-the-hand looks like when it’s back from the printers in a couple of week’s time.