by Andreé Robinson-Neal
The crew at FFC jumped into 2015 with both feet. Jim Harrington rang the year in with some thoughts on dialect and reminded us that while we understand those phonetic spellings, our readers might not. We may want our stories to evoke emotion — confound, upset, tickle, tug — but the last thing we want to do is “confuse the reader.” To underscore this point, Sarah Crysl Akhtar‘s treatise on poor word choices is a wonderful example of how a single word can be fatal to the emotion of the story. James Claffey‘s post on the turned phrase may give you pause as you ponder your latest writings — as he (as per his wife) says, “words can be fractured things, awkwardly spliced and stitched together.” However, as our three staff members suggest, it’s about craft: not stringing any old word to another, but precisely drawing together the perfect piece of flash.
Kaye Linden gave us a handout that should help us get our almost-ready-for-submission writing in order with a 37-point list of tips on flash fiction (and a set of bonus poetry points too) and Rohini Gupta shared her reasons for writing flash fiction. The reminder of the infinite possibilities that we can create within a handful of words should get you excited to continue writing (or to get started) this year.
Need some tips to enhance your writing? January had a bunch to offer.
Dino Laserbeam gave us five solid points for writing twist endings, including a reminder that a twist isn’t always necessary in flash. Gloria Garfunkel gave us a glimpse into the far-reaching aspects of flash fiction and what you can do with it if you try. For you audiophiles, Jeremy Szal offered 5+1 do’s and don’ts for podcasting your story. RK Biswas reviewed Shellie Zacharia’s flash collection, Not Everything Lovely and Strange is a Dream, which you might want to pick up for added inspiration. Take a careful read through “Get Thee Hence” from Sarah Crysl Akhtar and remember: be true to your expression, follow the tenets of grammar, and “keep writing til you get it right.” Incorporate all the tips and tricks offered throughout the month and maybe you’ll be one of EDF’s top authors, like Amy Sisson, who was interviewed by Aliza Greenblatt.
No matter where you are in your writing career, FFC’s staff is here to give you the latest craft, genre, and inspirational information. Be sure to connect regularly as there is something new each month!
Andreé Robinson-Neal got bit by the writing bug back in the late 1970s while watching Rod Serling and reading Ray Bradbury—both of whom are everyday inspirations; although she has worked in education for more than a quarter-century, she has never been cured of her penchant for speculative fiction. Find some of her flash fiction at starvingartist.com. She writes under the name AR Neal, who will hopefully one day be identified as a famous NaNoWriMo participant.