I once found myself having a beer with my neighbour who I had only met that day. While sitting on his balcony he bombarded me with tales of how Martians rule the earth, fluoride in the water is controlling our minds, and the Egyptian pyramids would blow up the world. I left, not feeling terror at the fact that this man lives next to me, but with the compelling urge to instantly write down as much of his rant as I could possible remember. The reality of the situation meant less to me than the value of the story, and I think that is key in writing.
What inspired you to write flash fiction?
By compressing stories into very small units it forces writers to evaluate every part of the story. This trains writers to be concise and effective in their word choice. Flash fiction also allows writes to focus on the importance of the one scene and not be burdened by the requirements of the larger story. In a way the limited word count of flash fiction is liberating. There is an interesting freedom and oppression that very small stories have and it makes for an interesting challenge for me.
Describe your writing process.
My writing process could not be more erratic. I write almost exclusively late at night in periods lasting as short as 10 minutes, or as long as 5 hours. Some weeks I won’t be able to fill a single page with what I’ve produced, while other days I’ll get down 20 pages in a mad flurry.
On longer pieces of writing I find that outlines are essential and very enjoyable to produce. With flash fiction, which usually as one key theme of emotion at the core of it, I usually try to avoid other analyzing it with structure.
What was the inspiration behind what was published on FewerThan500.com?
The stories I’ve posted (read here and here) often begin with a key feeling that came from a real life experience. However simply retelling the story of what happened in reality doesn’t do justice to the event. Through fiction, the goal is to hopefully recreate that feeling for the reader in a story that makes it even more evident than in the real event.
What are you working on now?
Although flash fiction is hugely enjoyable to write (and read), I’m taking a shot at a piece of historical fiction. I’ve just finished the first draft of it but I’ll withhold saying anymore as much will likely change before it’s finished.