Facebook Posts – General and
From Light to Dark and Back Again
I thought I’d share in full here my posts for tonight on Facebook. I talk about my favourite reading and what I look for in short fiction. Comments welcome, especially on what you look for in short fiction. I look for impact, as you’ll see below.
Managed to catch up with some reading tonight so am pleased with that. When reading Writing Magazine when it first arrives, I turn to the letters pages and the Members’ News section immediately and see if there is anyone I know in there. It is a real pleasure to see more friends turn up in the latter.
Favourite reading does depend on how much time I’ve got. If not long, then flash fiction is key. Short, sharp and focused – that’s how I like my stories! If I’ve more time, then I like good sensible how-to articles on aspects of writing and novels. You can never have too much time for reading but you can have not enough time to read as well as you like.
Reading is the flipside to writing. I’ve read many an article where ideas for stories have sprung out of the item. So I get to learn from the article and have ideas for future stories – what is there not to like about that?!
When reading very short fiction what am I looking for? I look for impact and I have this in mind when I write my flash fiction.
The impact can be funny, dramatic, spine chilling or what have you. A really powerful flash story can cross these effects. I have read 100-word stories where I am moved by what the character has told me but I also know or can guess at the situation they would face if the story went on and that can lead to anticipation of horror to come.
Sometimes the impact is on the reader (as was the case where I “felt” for the character who thought they were over the worst of what they would face but I knew they were not). Sometimes the impact “hits” a character who may be “off stage” (but where you know if the story continued, there would be a major scene as a result of that impact).
I always ask myself what impact do I want my readers to feel as a result of reading my flash stories and then write accordingly!