Atomic Punch; Skills Honed in Flash Fiction

You’ve got five hundred words to amaze someone about your newest greatest idea… go!

I’m in the middle of boiling my ninety-three thousand word novel, Aether Legion, into that tantalizing bit on the back of the book and my head’s spinning. What do I leave out? How will it all tie together? How much should I reveal and how much must I reveal? Will this make any sense without an interpreter?

In the middle of it all a fellow Rebel Ink Press writer hits me up for a flash fiction gig at her web site. Look at a picture and tell a story inspired by it… in two hundred and fifty words. My first go at it, I nearly reached four hundred before I glanced at my word count. I curse a bit and I edit a bunch and continue the vicious cycle until the editing ends and my cursing fades into a satisfied smile.

So many sentences meant to set up the scene fell away. Paragraphs fat with description shed all but the most necessary words to paint my picture. One character fades into an inner monologue of the only remaining cast member. Though pleased to finish and happy with the story told, it really tickled me to see as much meaningful content packed tightly into the tiny piece.

A day later as I re-tackle my cover blurb crisis I realize how her request came at just a time when I needed to exercise my microscope and write for a smaller space, to create a snapshot of my art to entice the world to see the whole specimen. I’m nearly giggling now, the serendipity of it all, as this moment of the perfect nudge at the perfect ledge sends me plunging into another challenge better prepared.

Here’s her link:


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