To preface this, I need to point out that it was a school assignment. Flash fiction, if you don’t know is a form of writing that blurs the line between a short story and poetry. The goal is to express a thought or idea as powerfully as you can in as few words as possible. It’s very similar to slam poetry. One other flash fiction I wrote is titled “Hide and Seek with a Still Small Voice”.
This particular piece comes with a little story. When I was assigned to write this I thought I would poke fun at the assignment by giving a scathing review of what flash fiction is with my flash fiction. The prof didn’t like it much. I stand by most of what I say with this piece though, even if I say it a little too strongly.
There is a danger of using a rhythm and pulse in your writing to cause people to feel without thinking. I dislike this approach. I always want my readers to THINK. Think critically. If you disagree, figure out WHY you disagree. I’m much happier with one person who disagrees with me and tells me why than I am with a hundred people who say they agree with me but can’t tell me what I said.
Anyway… this piece is called “A String of Flowery Phrases.” The last paragraph is the important one. Put meat in your writing; make it substantive. Fancy phrases only mean something if they… well, mean something!
Without further ado, I give you “A String of Flowery Phrases”
His fingers were frozen. They sat poised over the keys, persistently praying for a presentation or articulation of inspiration at this station of gestation to find formation on the page. None came. It was hopeless. He could think of naught to write.
“What is flash fiction anyway? A story, an idea, a picture, or a poem? Is it the half-baked concoctions of half faked skills for auction? Is it a beginning, middle and end, or a string of flowery phrases not meant for real reflection, but meant for inane convection spinning, swirling, no direction, ‘tween the ears of that subsection not ready for complexion, much less crucial perfection found in the resurrection so they numb the ache of thinking with a string of flowery phrases?
The answer presents itself with unnerving accuracy. What is flash fiction anyway? It’s an art form of unsettling popularity. It’s a pretentious little dinner of stacked food that’s catered to readers who think less and feel more, drown out the truth before any thinking does restore. It’s all presentation and no flavor to taste, all animation and no color incased. It’s an attempt to take what little higher brain function is left in this population and kill it with pulsation in the hopes that this phonation and vibration will settle the frustration and the need for some vexation in the minds of this great nation. And yet…
Use the reason that God gave you to break through this fiction’s flashings and ask yourself the question, “Am I going and surpassing the great thinkers sent before me, or would they simply ignore me?” His fingers started warming. The answer came to haunt him. Flash fiction’s a distraction, unless it’s used for action. Put the message in the medium and the meaning may emerge. Put meat right in the middle and these strings of flowery phrases won’t be a set of hazes but a thing that’s worth reflecting. So stop. Think. He did. And finally his fingers felt on fire.