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Interview

An Interview with K.C. Norton

K.C. Norton is a young graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts who has had two fantastic stories printed in Flash Fiction Online: “Rumplestiltskin in Love” and now, “The Kiss” (listen to the podcast here). Her story, “Canth,” was also featured in Lightspeed Magazine’s, “Women Destroy Science Fiction” anthology. We often laughed during our […]

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An Interview with Matthew F. Amati

Haven’t read the story yet? Read “The Cratch, Thy Keeper” now. SM: Tell us how you came up with “The Cratch, Thy Keeper”. MA: Eh, there wasn’t any real plan behind it. That’s the great thing about flash fiction. You just start typing, and 700 words later there’s a draft.  “Cratch” started out as a […]

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An Interview with John Guzlowski

Haven’t read the story yet? Read “The Last Man on Earth — A Mini-Novel” here. Speaking with John Guzlowski, I couldn’t help but feel that I sheltered under the warmth of a favorite uncle or grandfather. But his history is replete with its darkness and gravity. After the Nazis had overrun Poland, John’s family was […]

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The Philosophy of Composition

This essay details the writing of Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous poem, “The Raven”. Although flash fiction isn’t poetry, it strives for the same “unity of effect” that Poe tries to obtain in his work. Some have said that Poe must have written this as satire, since it’s a little too precise and methodical in […]

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George Washington’s Life in Baseball: Using Characters Your Reader Already Knows

In nineteenth-century novels, there was time to admire the scenery and get to know the characters at our leisure. There might be an entire chapter devoted to the lovely English countryside before we ever met Squire Greenfield, and we might have tea with the good squire in his drawing room in chapter two, admiring the […]

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Write Rites: The Ritual Story

In the previous column we looked at the advantages of writing about characters that the reader already knows. This strategy can be applied to other elements of stories. Anything that you might have to develop for a reader — setting, the rules of a particular society, the backstory for characters — doesn’t have to be […]

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Ellipsis: What to Leave Out

Read Bruce’s previous column here, or visit his author page to see them all. Two columns ago, I looked at how the writer can save words by using a character that the reader already knows. We can also tell stories by leaving out narrative sections or details that the reader can supply on her own […]

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A Story of n Words: How Low Can You Go?

I want to address the question of how short a story can be and still be a story, but to get there we have to consider an obvious question: What is a story? Consider the poor writer whose manuscript was just rejected. The editor has been kind enough to provide some specific comment in the […]

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Consolidated Flash and the Collective Narrator

Read Bruce’s previous column here, or visit his author page to see them all. In this month’s column, I want to address two things at once. The first follows naturally on the previous topic of how short flash fiction can be: How long can we make flash fiction? And because my answer to that question […]

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Small Rebellions: Prose Poems

Read Bruce’s previous column here, or visit his author page to see them all. These columns are about writing flash fiction, but this month I want to peer over the border to examine flash fiction’s sister genre, the prose poem. At least some flash fictions and prose poems are similar enough that it can be […]

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