I have an article up at Cotton Xenomorph today which lists the six elements of flash fiction for me.
Writing advice is tricky. I struggled approaching this article because some part of me was adverse to the idea of the word "Manifesto." It seems so apart from what I understand flash fiction to be. So let me just say that this is just how I read and write flash fiction and not some grand set of rigid rules.
We are all humans and we write in our own ways. I know this especially from working as a freelancer. I work with authors and I have to come into their space of writing gently because everyone is different. Some writers wake early in the morning to write before taking their three kids to school. Some stay up late chatting with friends online while revising. We fit writing into our lives, but we rarely sit down and think: What am I really doing here? How does this fulfill me and how can I nurture that feeling? For me, this list is how I nurture my writing of flash fiction and how I understand the genre. But it's just my own experience and understanding.
The most important rule on this list to me is #1: Empathy. I think this also applies to our own work. I see so many emerging writers, marginalized writers, women writers, who are afraid to put their work out into the world. I wish I could say to all of you, your voice matters. Because putting your own vulnerabilities on the page creates empathy. We are humans who need to live in a shared world of experience.
I have a little short story in this anthology from Flame Tree Publishing! My story "Stardust" is about a sexbot with a heart of fire who finds her way out of a complicated relationship with a cop . . . all set in the future and with a 20s nostalgia feel.
Pre-order your copy from Amazon or from Flame Tree! Books ship in September/November.
So, lately I haven't been able to read as much because I've been so busy promoting my new chapbook, Glimmerglass Girl. But I was able to sneak in this little interview with local Houston author Patricia Flaherty Pagan on three books I love.
These are authors that I return to again and again because their work speaks to me. I highly suggest you start reading them if you like short fiction and experimental work!
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
I've got a new subscriber-only post at Curious Fictions about Tolkien, managing your career as a writer, and basically launching my new and exciting stuff for 2018! Read it here.
I'm now posting subscriber-only content and reprints of my pro-market stories at Curious Fictions.
Similar to Patreon, Curious Fictions is an invite-only platform where professional authors can sign up and create profile pages, publish their newsletters and story reprints, and start accepting payments from their followers.
If you like what I'm doing and want to support me, this is your chance. Subscribe below for just $1 a month and receive exclusive content: reprinted stories and special blog posts.
Holly Lyn Walrath is a freelance editor and author of poetry, flash fiction, and short fiction. Find her on Twitter @HollyLynWalrath
Like this post? Leave a tip or subscribe at Curious Fictions:
I run a monthly e-newsletter with writing prompts, editing tips, writing music, and more. Click below to sign up!
Holly Walrath's books on Goodreads
ratings: 19 (avg rating 4.21)
Our Space: Shorts & Poetry from the Houston Community
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.25)
In Medias Res: Stories from the In-Between
ratings: 2 (avg rating 4.50)
The 2017 Rhysling Anthology: The Best Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Poetry of 2016 Selected by the Science Fiction Poetry Association
ratings: 16 (avg rating 4.31)
ratings: 9 (avg rating 4.67)