Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Stay at Home Festival - Writing Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction Workshop

What is flash fiction… 
The guidelines for the Smokelong Quarterly advise:
       language that surprises
       narratives that strive toward something other than a final punch line or twist
       pieces that add up to something, oftentimes (but not necessarily always) meaning or emotional resonance
       honest work that feels as if it has far more purpose than a writer wanting to write a story

What makes great flash fiction:
       How to write flash fiction:
       Start in the middle.
       Don’t use too many characters.
       Make sure the ending isn’t at the end.
       Sweat your title.
       Make your last line ring like a bell.
       Write long, then go short.

Different approaches: Hermit crab style
These stories, which make use of ready-made templates such as recipes, board-meeting minutes and shopping lists, are a great way for experimenting with form in short fiction.

Instructions:10 minutes

How to build a home
How to leave the country
How to tame a lion
How to become a writer
How to throw a party
How to spend your money
How to cook in a lockdown
How to live in self-isolation
How to talk to your father/ mother

Choose one and start free writing. Take note – while the instruction is given in future tense, the story will emerge as past tense…instruction is given in second person – produces a unique tone that becomes the focus of the story. 

- Adapted from Barrie Llewlyn's prompt in Teaching Creative Writing - ed Elaine Walker

HW Write a playlist for a character. What is the relationship of the playlist creator with this character? 
An example:
from Flash Fiction Festival Three (Ad Hoc Fiction, 2019)

Write the same incident from 3 different perspectives
A character arrives late to a party, not knowing that an old significant other is attending too. 
The relationship didn’t end well. The host introduces them to each other, unaware of 
their history. In 300 words or less, write the scene from three POVs: The late arriver, the ex 
and the host.
•The late arrive – 1st person POV
•The ex – 2nd Person POV
• The host – 3rd Person POV.

Smokelong Quarterly
Flashback Fiction
Reflex Fiction
Flash – The International Short Short Story Magazine
Cabinet of Heed
Fictive Dream
Lost Balloon
Okay Donkey
TSS Publishing
X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine
Zero Flash
The Fiction Pool
Ad Hoc Fiction
Bare Fiction
Flash Fiction Online
F( r)iction
Jellyfish Review

You can follow me on Twitter: @susmitatweets
Short Story in a Weekend course: https://www.profwritingacademy.com

My favourite flash fiction (my own, I mean): https://www.ellipsiszine.com/a-lesson-in-shadow-puppetry-learnt-the-difficult-way-by-susmita-bhattacharya/

Hope you enjoyed the session! Have a lovely day :) 

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