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.
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Holly Lyn Walrath is a freelance editor and author of poetry, flash fiction, and short fiction. Find her on Twitter @HollyLynWalrath
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