Flash Writing – Fidelity Immediate

Toward the end of the year I was pondering what Flash Fiction Fidelity (faithfulness) would look like if put into words or chalked out upon a soiled building wall deep within some forgotten alley. Like the chalk maybe rules for writing Flash are meant to dissolve with the first rain, dripping into an ever widening pool on the ground only to be swept away by gravities suction deep within an anonymous city sewer.

Immediate Emotional Turbulence (IET), words placed on paper that grab and push the reader beyond their normal everyday experiences. And like turbulence Flash has an obligation to compel the reader to surrender their carefully constructed view of reality and feel something new, something extraordinary.

If writing Flash is an excuse to shrink a longer story without challenging both the writer and reader then what is it other then some homogenized spongy slice of white bread growing stale on the counter of sameness. Do we merely need to write about a bowl of fruit or does Flash call us to describe a rotten bowl of fruit littered with maggots evolving into something new while life around withers in loneliness. If there is an obligation for all writers no matter what their skill to challenge themselves and to deliver something real to their readers then maybe writing Flash compounds that responsibility and demands experimentation.

Doling out a quarter cup of plain yogurt from a quart container only shortens the time it takes to eat the plain colorless mushiness adding nothing to awaken taste buds and make the eater lick their mouths roof in delirious delight. But if you throw in dried cranberries canoodling with fresh blueberries sharing space with a sexy pecan or two you may light the fuse within a stilted imagination, forever changing their world and your world as well.

Fidelity Immediate (faithfulness to immediacy) is one New Years resolution I am committed to, stepping out with more experimenting so that my words strike a chord the reader will feel deep within driving a savoring catalyst causing experience and leading them to read more from an ever widening mishmash of daring writers and artists.

12 thoughts on “Flash Writing – Fidelity Immediate

  1. Wow, a call to arms! And long past due. There is a very wrong-headed notion out there that Flash Fiction is a form of writing that just takes up less space. I've read so many entries elsewhere that have no sense of theory or structure, so the house of words is built on nothing. As a result, the words, the phrases and their potential power to move us emotionally, excite, or act as catalysts for new thinking, is all too often squandered.

    Thanks for speaking out for your medium. I really hope others see the truth of your statement, advancing Flash rather than allowing it to falter. As a reader, I would be forever grateful.

  2. I love things that make me think deep … and you've given me that today. This piece is true and real and gritty … making me go beyond surface thought and really consider what happens when I sit down to write … not only for me in that moment, but for the reader in future moments. Bravo.

  3. Well said.

    I agree that fiction, including flash, should just not be words, words, words as Hamlet said.

    They should excite, move readers to tears, to happiness, to anger, to arms, etc. But also, stories should entertain, plain and simple.

    I love reading tales where I feel I want to belong to that world just a little bit longer after I read "the end".

    A toast to your New Year's resolution. Let the mashup begin!

  4. I think one of my Firefox plug-ins is blocking most of your punctuation. :p

    One hell of a post. One "l" in doling.

    Honestly, I sympathise with your intentions, but the above post was like a twenty year old Max Headroom parody.

    "and leading them to read more from an ever widening mishmash of daring writers and artists" …

    …who will never sell a story to a mainstream magazine, and consequently will never have an audience more meaningful than family and friends.

    What we actually need are good writers who are less experimental. Who will appeal to Joe Normal, but feed him a diet of quality ideas to help counter-balance the enormous ocean of crap we're swimming in.

    • Anton thanks for the comments. Indeed there is a dearth of punctuation in the post.. I have to disagree with you that we need less writers following an experimental path, bland sameness is the norm today and we do swim in an "enormous ocean of crap" but if making money is a writers reason for writing then you are correct and they should find what sells and pound it out. I'm not sure how much Joe Normal reads these days but maybe trying new or experimental approaches will incite new readers. Maybe being true to your own voice is more important then making money. Maybe?

      • Craig, I'm on message, in theory, but I can't write like that. I can't do poetry either.

        Okay, here's my question… how would MORE writers writing experimentally help?

        Mathematically, a hundred times as many experimental flash writers won't shift the needle on the scale a fraction. What do you need? A thousand more? A million? More "writers" does not equal more "readers of".

        If you can inspire a 100x increase in ANYTHING literary, I will call you God and bask in your glory.

        You're not really asking writers to be true to their own voice. Most writers' voices are resolutely mainstream. You're asking them to be less BLAND. Actually LESS true to their own voice.

        I'm sweating your balls a little because I like how you write, but, dammit, I really don't agree with you.

        So, answer the question… how would more experimental flash writers help?

        • Anton, I don't think there is any cosmic mathematical one-hundredth monkey formula behind what I'm saying. There may be a bit of a romantic coloring in my desire for people to experiment more, I'll come clean on that part of my motivation. I'm not asking writers to be less bland or less true to their voice, I'm really asking them to consider what may be other sides to their art, other sides they have yet to explore. I confess to feeling silly thinking I have anything to say to any writer other then "experiment with your voice, you might find something quite wonderful." I do think the more we all stretch the better our chance of creating something we can't now conceive (romantic coloring). I see creative momentum sitting on-top a Pivot of Nothingness ( a Zen concept I'm bastardizing) with each moment all possibilities exist waiting to come into existence.

  5. A great goal, indeed. Flash isn't my primary focus, but I like challenges. I also enjoy seeing others meet their challenge. I may never become a master at flash, but I enjoy and appreciate the skills of others. Good luck on meeting your resolution.

    Mary, I'm uncertain about "wrong-headed." Writers write for different reasons with varying skill, but I believe most will agree that flash fiction is a different animal from short. And all fiction should move and excite the reader.

    I am curious about the inclusion of parenthetical; we know fidelity means faithfulness to a cause, belief.

    • David, glad you dropped by and left a comment. I added the parenthesis around faithfulness just to empathize its meaning. I often use words in unusual contexts and because this was not a story I thought a little help might be warranted. The older I get the more I realize just how much different we all see things.

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