#FridayFlash Favorites (2010/06/22)

Photo © 2005 Gisela Giardino CC 2.0 BY SA

Each Friday, writers post on twitter a link to a short-short story they’ve written, marked with the tag #FridayFlash. Mine this week I threw together at the last minute… and then I had partied on the weekend and got sick on Monday, so I couldn’t post Monday about the process I used. (Hold on— That didn’t come out quite right. I partied on the weekend, because Father’s Day and my birthday, both on the same day. And I think it was food poisoning that got me sick.) But I have the “How to Write a Character-Driven Flash Story Really Fast” post slated for next Monday (knock on wood).

Of the stories that were posted last Friday, however, here are my…

#FridayFlash Favorites for June 18

Out of 100 stories (of which 78 made it onto the official #FridayFlash Report for June 18), here are my 11 favorites, listed in no particular order.

Note: To be selected as one of my #FridayFlash Favorites, the post must be a genuine flash story, not a chapter in a longer piece, a series of one-paragraph vignettes, or anything else. It should have a beginning (conflict), a middle (thickening), and an end (resolution). Not necessarily a happy ending (though I do enjoy happy endings), but whatever conflict the story introduces at the beginning, it must resolve at the end. No fair building up suspense and then stopping in the middle of the story, just so you don’t have to figure out how to save the hero in 1,000 words or less; that’s cheating. The story should also be a single scene, because multi-scene flash usually does too much “telling” and doesn’t “show” enough to engage me in the story. (And scene divisions stop the flow, which is usually a bad idea in flash.) While I do browse Twitter for #FridayFlash posts, the best way to get me to read yours is to put it on the #FridayFlash Collector. I judge posted stories according to my own preferences; your mileage may vary.

Till next week, and…

Keep writing!


2 responses to “#FridayFlash Favorites (2010/06/22)”

  1. Susan Cross Avatar

    How do you manage to read so many stories? I read about 8 so far and three of those you mentioned, which I agree were great. I try to read randomly and not always the same authors but I confess I am not a horror fan and don’t often read the sci-fi fantasy. There was another that I liked featuring ‘tidbots’ but I honestly don’t remember the author although I did comment. Keep reading and keep listing. I can only aspire to someday making your list. I have a long way to go. Although I usually stay with one scene and have beginning, middle (conflict) and ending (resolution) I have been guilty of telling. Working on my style. Don’t ever hesitate to critique my stories. Any help is appreciated.


  2. J. Timothy King Avatar

    Hi, Susan. I try to read each of the stories. Many of them lose me almost immediately, and I don’t finish them. I have pretty specific tastes, and when I find myself skimming through the first few paragraphs, my eyes glazing over, I usually know that’s when to skip to the next one. One of the things I like in a story is that it grabs me from the start. Some novels are islands of “Wow!” surrounded by an ocean of “Who cares?” But in a flash story, there’s no room for anything but the “Wow!” bit. (There’s no room in a novel, either, for anything that isn’t part of the “Wow!” but that’s a different topic.) Or at least, that’s what I like. (Not everyone agrees.)

    I’ve been a long-time fan of SF, and a shorter-time fan of some fantasy (most notably Holly Lisle’s) and some horror (in particular, H.P. Lovecraft, who knew how to weave a tale). But I think that if the story is just about the strange elements (e.g., future technology, or magic, or fantasy combat, or monsters, or whatever), then it’s not a very good story. I don’t read SF to experience space travel; I read SF to experience the human condition in a way that I can’t in the real world.

    The Tidbot story was “Family Reunion,” by Louise Dragon. I liked the gimmick behind the story, but I didn’t know what the story was about. Why were the Tidbots taking over humans? What need does it fulfill? Or alternatively, why should I care that they destroyed Pete and Susan’s consciousness? What are the implications for me? So this story didn’t make my favorites list.


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