A Plan for Flash Fiction

There is a huge market for Flash Fiction, much of it unpaid, but a published story is a published story.

Today, I wrote another Flash Fiction piece, “The Box.” (300 words) As a writing prompt, I used an image of an old fashioned, black analog dial telephone. Memories of my grandmothers party line and the old Phone Exchange numbers, individual rings brother out a story about loss an dealing with death, particularly of my mother.

It could be considered Magical Realism. I have no problem with that.

Over the next three days, I will write more, and then submit them to Copper Nickel or elsewhere.

Dialogue – Writing the Words Characters Say.

When writing dialogue, there are certain considerations that a writer must make. Jack Smith, in the book Crafting Dynamic Dialogue, distils these considerations down to three questions that an author should answer.

  • Does it reveal character?
  • Does it reveal conflict?
  • Will it keep the reader’s interest?

If dialogue does not deliver character, conflict, and interest, it has failed and would be best cut and placed in the file of forgotten prose.  Those three considerations are primary, but there is no reason to stop there. Eventually, all stories must be edited, and good dialogue must be honed to a fine edge. Laura van den Berg uses certain revision strategies to hone here dialogue. Before changing a word, she asks, “Where is the tension?” Tension is the fulcrum of conflict, and that tension makes good dialogue stand out. Where is the arc? We discuss plot character arc, here. Good dialog m must push the arc forward. If the story does not move, it falls flat on its backside. Finally, van den Berg asks, what is the subtext? No one ever says everything. What happens under the surface of a conversation is as important as the words themselves.

Other Questions:

Am I giving away too much? A writer must know what the conversations is supposed to reveal. Don’t give away the novel in a few spoken words.

Does this conversation go somewhere? As with every other element in a story, the Conversation must be necessary. It must reveal something important, and, when possible, fill more than one purpose.

Is there too much repetition in speech? Conversations need to be condensed so that the minimum number of words are used.

Informal Journal – Submit or Perish

Writersmarket.com – I have been a member forever, though I go through extended periods of time when I ignore its existence. Completing a piece of flash fiction, led me to the decision to submit. You know, when you submit you must have a market. Searching for “Flash Fiction Markets” in Google was not satisfactory. Then, I thought I lost my password, but I found it. Now, I am back. Long story edited for length, I will submit “Annotated Shopping List” to “Copper Nickel.”

Annotated Shopping List – Story is ready to submit, but you can submit up to three Flash Fiction Pieces, so I am considering writing two more. Decisions, Decisions!

The Traffic Stop, a second Flash Fiction, is adapted from the opening scene of a novel sitting on my hard drive. I cut it and stripped out plot items for the longer story. It works as flash fiction, if a bit longer than my previous story. Once edited, it will be the second story in a submission package of three to Copper Nickel.
I can’t help but wonder, where is number three.

Snitch was the last of the three, and they have been submitted. I suspect this is the first of many submissions for these stories, but it is necessary to start, somewhere.

Informal Journal – A Flash Fiction and Critique

Some years back I wrote a poem that did not work. Today, I rewrote as a Flash Fiction Piece titled “Annotated Grocery List.” It is written in pure dialog, as an experiment in creating characters and developing relationships with what people say.  I intend to submit it somewhere. Tomorrow, or later today, since it is after midnight, I will pick up a new copy of Writer’s market.

Self-Publishing and Twitter Advertisements

I have not self-published but am moving in that direction. This article about Allphageek, aka Joshua Smith, by  is a great source for using Twitter to advertise.

How To Set Up Twitter Ads For Your Books: A Complete Guide By Alfageek

I intend to buy it.

Over-Prepping – Light Bulb

Writer, Lara Lalalynn, (Facebook Friend) posted today about the perils of Over-Prepping, by which she meant TOO MANY PREPOSITIONS.


Over-prepping is using superfluous prepositional phrases–often redundant, but also just unnecessary for meaning/clarity. And as with all evil things, it adds to verbosity and will kill pace.”

By Lara Lalalynn

I have this problem. In my latest work, it isn’t so bad, which shoes I’ve learned something, but in this process of going back and editing earlier works, I’ve found myself addicted to prepositional phrases. Good writing means we use the right word and no extra words. Those markers of good writing are in conflict.

Going back to edit, I can look for prepositions, and make sure that each one is necessary.

Informal Journal – When Frustration Strikes

Amid posting, when my WordPress Blog breaks.

What does a writer do? Quit? Scream Fuck It at a cruel world.

I just start again.

Completed a Scene 34 of Scapula (I need a better title). The scene weighs in at 1032 words. Novel now 41,810 words long.

Sometimes Saying Hello World Sucks…

Once again, my WordPress blog broke.
Starting again, again.