I began to produce these ultra-short stories – sawn-off tales, as I call them – when I was commuting from Manchester to Liverpool…
These stories, small as they were, had a huge appetite; little fat monsters that gobbled up ideas like chicken nuggets. The habit of reducing text could get out of hand too; I once took away the last two sentences of a story and realised I had reduced it to a blank page.
How to write flash fiction
1. Start in the middle.
You don’t have time in this very short form to set scenes and build character.
Being a writer – or other artist for that matter – is a bit like being a boxer. If you think you are going to get into the ring and are not ready to take a few punches then you should not be there.
Not only is it unrealistic, but you do your audience a disservice if you are not willing to take criticism.
We are a sensitive lot and it is painful to see our babies criticized, but it is necessary if we wish to grow and improve our craft to take valid, well meant criticism.
You do not necessarily have to agree with everything, but it is important to listen and evaluate. In the end it is your name on the piece not your editor’s or other critic’s. So you need to be true to yourself, but not closed off.
A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?
George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”, 1946 English essayist, novelist, & satirist (1903 – 1950)
The opening paragraphs of both Solitaire and Waiting for a Latte stand out like a painting in my mind. The description of the winter and the rains that Portland is known for are but two little things Jaan Seunnasepp uses to accurately and artistically capture the feel of the city. He uses this language throughout this collection to weave together a blanket that you can wrap yourself in.
. . .
Waiting for a Latte is the perfect fare for someone hungry to eat at the buffet of witty cynicism. Goodie Two-Shoes is a quick, delicious appetizer that will leave you hungry for the entrée. It is a the prefect blend of dark humor and serious story telling.