Friday, January 2, 2015

Reflection on Flash Fiction: On 2014 and before

Throughout my blogging adventures, I've never really collected my flash fiction into one place and written about it. It's been fun to look back.

We'll start with 2014.

It began with Griefstruck God, a random title I'd rolled from one of Chuck Wendig's flash fiction friday prompts. It's a great title and I really liked what I came up with. I kept asking myself, what would a griefstruck god look like? What could cause a god grief? I could only imagine it in a fantasy setting and after looking back, it's a decent story.

Then Bad Cop came next. An awful title that I have to admit I came up with myself. The setting and characters were rolled up from Wendig again. The story have a few cliche tendencies, but the noir setting and the characters stick. I like the tortured main character, as bad as he is, and the reason he does what he does.

I didn't write any more flash until June, a sci-fi short titled "A Key For Souls". (Again, prompted by Wendig. He's got great prompts) This was a random title that I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with and tried to force something. I didn't really like what I came up with, the story not really believable, no real three-dimensional characters to speak of. It's short and you can tell it was rushed. I like the idea, though, of humans creating contained Artificial Intelligences and giving them logic puzzles. It doesn't really work or seem believable at all, though. Especially after talking to a friend who knows way more than I do about artificial intelligences.

A month or so later, I wrote super (prompted by Wendig). The prompt was to take the superhero genre and mix it with something else. I don't know what other genre I was going for...(literary maybe?) but I really liked how it came out. It's not much more than a conversation between a damsel in distress and her superhero, long after the superheroic events occurred. I really tried to think about how a superhero would feel, living in the real world for decades. One of my favorites.

I wrote a three-sentence story in August, almost the same as a twitter story I'd done previously. It's very difficult to condense a plot, characters and conflict into three sentences. I like what I came up with.

I also started Scrap, a sci-fi short story I'd thought about after reading my brother's material about his own sc-fi novel. I loved the idea. A junkyard filled with Old-tech, a town on a planet on the edge of destruction, sheriff and an underworld boss fighting over control of the town and a little scavenger finds a datachip that just might change the world....The story grew and grew, and though I like it, it's rough in places and I've yet to finish it. The original idea changed and morphed and I'm not sure I like it anymore, which is probably why I'm having trouble finishing it. I need to, though. Don't let shit go unfinished. Finish it, even if it sucks. A finished piece that sucks is better than the best thing you never finished.

That's it for 2014. I liked some stories more than others. Griefstruck God, Bad Cop, and super were my best. As I never collected my flash before, I will continue on into 2013 and 2012 as well. That way it's all in one place.


The first was The Garden in March, inspired by a Wendig prompt. I randomly rolled up a Sword and Sorcery tale set in The Garden of Eden and involving a Talking Sword. So of course I had a Knight in post-apocalyptic times searching for the Garden and believing every step of the way. I won't spoil what happens when he gets there...if he gets there....I really liked this piece, one of my favorites, for sure and the only writing I've ever done that contains bits and pieces of Christian religion.

In May, I wrote It Walked Inside the Spaceship using one of five random sentences Wendig had for a flash friday prompt. It's a comedic piece more than anything, and I think it succeeds in being funny. It makes me smile when I read it, anyways.

Day 6 was some flash I wrote off the cuff because it was "Day 6" of my attempt to write a blog post a day for a month. It's not great, fairly generic post-apocalyptic zombie-type fiction.

Lovecraftian Southern Gothic Flash Fiction was a story I started, (prompted by yet another of Wendig's flash friday exercises) in which I had to mix-mash (you guess it) Lovecraftian and Southern Gothic genres. It turned into a three-part story that I really enjoyed writing. I really tried to get both genres, Lovecraft's cosmic horror, characters going too far into the unknown, and Southern Gothic's country folk, the flat landscapes, the rustic tradition, etc. I really like how it turned out. Definitely one of my favorites.

That's it for 2013, now for 2012, though there isn't much.

In January I wrote the beginning of a piece of fiction with the working title "Post-Apocalypse With Aliens!" at the end of that blog post. The action and character in that are actually pretty decent, I think, but the rest of the story pretty much fizzled out, I just didn't have any more to add to it, at that point. I may come back to it at some point.

I finished The Long Nap and put it up on my blog in April. Be wary though, it is definitely a short story and not flash fiction. It might be longer than you expect. I think it also needs a quick editing run through or two, but overall I really like how the story came out. I still have plans for the hard-boiled elementary school kid solving his fellow classmates small-time cases and it's still a setting I love. Who doesn't love the idea of noir in an elementary school? Of a kid detective leaning back in his chair with a toothpick in his mouth and a can of soda on his desk? Oh shit, a missing pokemon card? Who else is going to track that down? I love it.

I did some tiny twitter short fiction and put up a collection here. Some are pretty good or maybe pretty okay. I would like to get back into writing tiny short stories, it's a pretty great mental exercise.

I wrote The Crane because I couldn't get it out of my head as I kept seeing the literal Crane machine outside nearly every day. It's not a great story, feels forced and full of fluff. It doesn't feel necessary, I guess.

I put up Spahgetti and Champagne, a short I'd actually written in my creative fiction writing class back in school. It's a simple little story, sort of plain and maybe dull. I kind of like it, though, for some reason. The end, the dinner with the imaginary woman I find interesting.

In October, I wrote a Halloween tale called  Unliving. A depressing zombie tale that is short, sweet and ultimately demoralizing. I like it. Not one of my favorites but pretty good, I think.

There we have it! That's it! Quite a few gems, I found, going back. Lovecraftian Southern Gothic, It Walked Inside the Spaceship, The Garden, super, Bad Cop and Griefstruck God are my favorites and are enjoyable stories.

That is also the end of my first blog post of 2015! As I promised, one post a week and at least one flash fiction a month. Look for more to come.

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