Teresa's Reviews > The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers, and Writers in the Field

The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction by Tara L. Masih
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Dec 09, 10

Read in December, 2010

This book is amazing! And much needed for those interested, but not an expert, in the 'flash fiction' form.

Like some of the contributors to this guide, I too have struggled with the term, feeling that there is a difference between short-short stories (simply going by word count) and a true flash fiction piece, and some of these entries helped me clarify this. I've had a few short-shorts published, but only feel as if one of them (okay, maybe two) was a true flash. That one was inspired by a dream, and much of flash does have that dreamlike, off-kilter feel.

In the past after reading flash fiction, I've felt that I just don't 'get' a lot of them, and that makes me feel inadequate. With the help of this book, I think I can become a better reader of this form, which is, of course, imperative before being able to write it.

Like some of the other contributors, I've struggled with the label itself. One writer says it makes him think of a man in a raincoat! The term has always made me think of hot flashes(!) and now I'm wondering if that's not that too far off the mark, as both are adrenalin-charged and physically last only a minute or so, though their effects may linger longer.
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Reading Progress

11/18/2010 "Still reading, but had to say that I loved the chapter by Jayne Anne Phillips!"
11/24/2010 "Loved the chapter by Randall Brown as well." 1 comment

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by James (new)

James Murphy Is this kin to the six sentences form we used to write? Or is it more like we accept as good enough whatever we spontaneously write, like the old Beat idea of Kerouac and Ginsberg? Kerouac called it spontaneous bop prosody. Or is it something more careful?


Teresa James wrote: "Is this kin to the six sentences form we used to write? Or is it more like we accept as good enough whatever we spontaneously write, like the old Beat idea of Kerouac and Ginsberg? Kerouac called..."

Those Six Sentences could definitely be considered flash. I think it could arise spontaneously, but it doesn't end there; the editing is very important.


message 3: by James (new)

James Murphy I see. Thanks. I like to think editing is important. I get teased by how carefully I write things like this or posts to groups.


Teresa James wrote: "I see. Thanks. I like to think editing is important. I get teased by how carefully I write things like this or posts to groups."

I understand completely; I do that, too. I love to edit. I know some writers hate revision, but it's one of my favorite things about writing.


message 5: by Cynthia (new) - added it

Cynthia Great review Teresa. I like your analysis.


message 6: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Terrific review, Teresa! In addition to the more practical side of the issues, I like the way you injected a note of humor at the end! :)


Tara Glad you liked it so much, Teresa! Hope it insires.


Teresa Thanks, C & B.

It already has, Tara! Now it's up to me to make good on it. :)


message 9: by Maria (new)

Maria I've never heard this term, and I'm enjoying thinking about the man in the raincoat.


Teresa Maria wrote: "I've never heard this term, and I'm enjoying thinking about the man in the raincoat."

lol Much more enjoyable than thinking about my analogy, eh, Maria? ;)


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