Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Exotic Locales and Flash Daddy

Exotic Locales and Flash Daddy

After a time of not being able to write a story with any legs, in June I came up with an idea for a Bangkok scenario. I only wish I had Lisabet’s chops for exotic settings. I guess it’s well beyond a third done, and already up over 4k, clearly much higher than my recent average, which is probably hovering under 1k. Fun to get into a story with more than one scene. :>)

Now I’m realizing I have a whole sheistload of unpublished stories running under 1500 words—mostly under 200. Whatever to do with all that flash fiction? I can remember some involved discussions over at ERWA on the value of flash fiction. In these discussions, I always maintained that lessons we learn in economy of words would serve any form of literature, from short stories to poetry to novels. But what to do with all those flashers?

If anyone saw my “Fates, Furies, Farrell and a Fridge” post for April’s “What I’m Reading” topic, I mentioned a short-short story writer, Etgar Keret, and his marvelous collection, “The Girl on the Fridge”. Well, I went out and bought his other book of shorts, “The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God”.

Now here’s a guy who has mastered flash fiction to a level I’ve not seen before, even through three stints as ERWA’s flasher editor. Sure, some few pieces could compare, but Keret is consistently imaginative and lively in an inimitable surreal style. He can use three words where a less competent writer would need a dozen.

Moreover, Keret has figured out how to market such a unique gift. I wholeheartedly hope this further encourages you guys to investigate his work. You won’t be disappointed.


Now, here’s the rub: I need an editor for a project called “Flash Daddy”, (name bestowed by Adrienne Benedicks when I took over as Flasher editor at ERWA). I don’t need an editor who actually edits the work; Lisabet will be doing that. What I need is the equivalent of an ‘acquisitions’ editor to read and evaluate perhaps over 200 very short stories, and pull a coherent collection from a big, disassociated pile of stuff that I have a hard time being objective about. Of course, an additional editor would be credited in the book. Any takers? I’m paying!  

7 comments:

  1. Your titles are so great! "Flash Daddy" is hilarious. I think it's very cool that you're working on collecting your flashes. Best of luck! :)

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  2. I wish I could spare the time to pare down your oeuvre into something manageable, Daddy. I'm glad to edit though.

    And I'm really looking forward to your Bangkok story!

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  3. I find flash fiction much harder to write than longer stories. I won a contest a few years ago, by submitting two stories. But my original stories in response to the prompts were 2-3 times as long as they were allowed to be! So the paring had to start, and I had to be ruthless. I was afraid I was ruining my stories, having to leave so much out. Right now the one that didn't win is on my website as a free read.

    I'm impressed that you have so many flash fictions that you have way more than you need for a complete book of them. Like Lisabet, I wish I had the time to give you. But my tutoring job, which only had me working 6 hours per week last summer, has me doing 12 hours per week, though a few of the women I work with are popping out babies, so I'm doing extra shifts each of the next 3 weeks. I thought I'd have plenty of time to write, but I'm having to scramble to fit it in. And since I haven't written anything new in a year, I'm trying to get back into the groove.

    I'll check out those books you mentioned. Might be just the thing for me to read whenever I have a scant few free minutes.

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    1. Thanks Fiona- Making a flasher from a longer piece is one of the more rewarding exercises. They often sound better in the shorter form too. If we get to know how to relate a basic story in the barest fashion, we can direct the rest of our words toward effect.

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  4. Daddy, can you afford to wait until after July 1? I can't afford to take on any extra task until then, but I would be willing to try on the role of "acquisitions editor" after my current class is wrapped up at the end of June.

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    1. I've been waiting for years, so a month will go easy. In fact, I still have to separate 'em out from various folders. Most of the stories can be read in a minute or two. Contact me off-list.

      Wheeeeee!... And we're off!

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