Flash Fiction discussion

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Thoughts on Flash, Prose Poetry and more

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message 1: by Kenny (new)

Kenny Chaffin (kennychaffin) | 133 comments I've written poetry for many years...decades in fact...I've also written a lot of nonfiction science and technical articles as well as more general non-fiction. I've always preferred short stories to novels for the most part.

A couple of years back I began to take more notice of 'creative' nonfiction which has significant overlap into fiction techniques. Some of the pieces I read and studied were very short and preferring shorter more powerful prose I began exploring Flash Nonfiction and became enthralled with it. I also began exploring flash fiction (I had actually written and published a few long ago even before I began writing poetry in earnest) and came to find that a number of pieces I really enjoyed had been published in multiple venues as either prose poetry or flash. I began asking myself what were the differences in these three forms - Flash Fiction, (creative) Flash Nonfiction and Prose Poetry (something I had more or less rejected up to that point). I now feel that I have some understanding of the differences but truly there is a massive overlap I've come to the conclusion that the difference is often only in what the author labels it. Poetry for instance can be completely fictional or based in fact and may or may not have poetic license applied to it.

These shortened forms of prose called flash are very much poetic in nature, emphasizing the specific word selection, the alliteration, the rhythm and even rhyme. Seeking that emotional or intellectual connection with the reader.

In the past year I have been writing each and all of these and I'm tempted to publish a combined collection in some form. Sort of damn the (marketing category) torpedoes and full speed ahead.

Anyone else here have thoughts on these forms - flash fiction, flash nonfiction, prose poetry? Their overlap, their place, their past present or future?


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Flash has a future but at present it is completely misunderstood by the public. People seem to think that if you talk a whole heap of shit, you are actually being logical.


message 3: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 98 comments Flash works right now because it is ideally constituted for the digital age-

1) It's the same length as the average blog post
2) You can read it pretty much without scrolling on a monitor
3) Easier to read on a tablet or phone than a novel
4) It's quick in this rapidly accelerating age of limited attention spans
5) it's great for self-contained video and live readings, unlike an extract from a novel ripped out of its context

But all of this is happenstance. For me I love flash because it tears up the rule book about how stories ought to be formed - you simply don't have the word space to do much of what we're advised is the 'right' thing.

Will it last? Who knows, people's predilections change so rapidly.


message 4: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 3 comments Flash fiction can be a prose poem, or it can be a (very) short story. It can be an anecdote, or even a sort of monograph. In fact, it is possible to argue that a novel can be written of a series of interconnected flash fiction. My guess is the varying forms will find different fortunes, with the popularity of each form only loosely connected if they are 'marketed' correctly.


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