22 April 2009

Flash bang

For a long time now I've had an interest in fiction writing. Mostly because I am constantly getting little snipets of dialogue or a story stuck in my head. I do the same thing with song lyrics, but for me it's easier to write songs for some reason. So while I've written probably a dozen songs or so over the past 5 years I can't say I've sat down and honestly attempted to write creatively (read: fiction) since I was in highschool. That was a long time ago.

A while back I discovered that a good friend of mine wrote flash fiction. When she told me that my mind went immediately to the gutter, as it is wont to do, with intricate dramas unfolding around college girls who liked to, uhm, show themselves. Upon being slapped corrected, I discovered that the actual definition was just as intriguing but for totally different reasons. It's like a hobby-kit for fiction writing!

I've read a good bit of it now and it's obvious that it takes a whole lot of talent to do well but just a little free time to do poorly. Free time I've got! There are, according to the All Mighty Wikipedia (May He Live Forever), even recognized subsets of flash fiction that are as short as 55 words! I don't necessarily know what it takes to be recognized as a 'subset' of flash fiction other than being published, but that's beside the point. Of course there is a challenge in trying to fit all of the classic story elements into such a short space, but I like challenges. I've even taken a shot today at writing something that fits that bill for Twitter. I didn't post it; it didn't go well. 140 characters is a hell of a limitation. Of course Ernest Hemingway predated all of this with his infamous, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn" which delivers some sort of story in about 33 characters. This kind of stuff is all over the place now. It's perfect for the internet. So I hope to write a little bit of really short fiction, some of which I may share here down the line.

I didn't put it on Twitter, but I likes yous guys so I'll embarrass myself by showing you the "Tweet-fiction" (coined?) I almost posted earlier:

"Z was loved by many, but the woman killed him anyway. His failures overtook his successes in sharp, stabbing steps. Blood poured cleansing."

Yeah, I know. It's a little morbid and not well-phrased. I really hate that last sentence. It's like chorus from a Misfits song. It's hard to convey a point with so little space. I do think that having 'characters' go by one letter is useful, though. So, for the writers amongst you with actual talent how would you go about telling a story in 140 characters or less? Care to share?


Anonymous said...

I (and Heather) Twihaiku - which is a great outlet... but fiction... not really my cup of tea

Heather Rose said...

Oh, if I could manage fictional biographies...yeah...I'd be awesome. Alas, I think my line of work will forever be painting life and writing children's books.

I'll just read an obscene amount of fictional biographies. Yes. That is what I'll do.

LadyGlutter said...

I follow Brent Spiner on twitter, and he's got an ongoing storyline. It's interesting, but hard to keep up with. I like the concept of keeping the fiction neatly within, but I don't know how to carry it any further than simply thinking it's nifty, just like the Twihaiku.

Apollo said...

Ari - I've noticed y'all doing that and thought about getting in on the action. I'm like a fucking haiku ninja. Out of nowhere I'll be all 5-7-5 or 3-5-3 on ya.

Heather - Oh to be cursed to a life of painting beautiful things and being all creative... WHY HAVE THE GODS FORSAKEN YOU?!!! :-)

LG - I follow him, too. I'm completely lost! I just take it as him being really goofy. There was some guy who was writing a Memento-rific murder-mystery novel on Twitter a while back. It was during the political campaigns. I wonder what happened to that?