I love poetry. There is nothing I enjoy more than reading a sonnet aloud, preferably while walking around the house. Some words are whisperers begging for a voice, while others emanate from the depths of our souls. I stand in awe of the poet’s skill to evoke a symphony of emotions. I can’t write anything worthy of inflecting on my worst enemy. The rigorous structures of syntax, couplets, and quatrains stifle my ability to compose.
However, I find the constraints of flash fiction a challenge that begs me to step up to the plate. Telling a satisfying story with a beginning, middle, and end while adhering to a strict word count of 100, 250, or 500 words requires some tricks. Selecting words which capable of doing double duty help convey a uniform message through the piece. Do you want to amaze, alarm, or surprise your audience? Precise word choice can establish or ruin the mood. While the final sentence is technically the story’s completion, it should also encourage the reader to consider implications beyond the writing.
At first, Marge’s comparison of poetry to flash fiction intrigued me, but as I analyzed the two, similarities emerged. Prose poetry often has either technical or literary qualities of a poem. But defining differences with flash fiction are less clear, and the forms seem to intertwine. Perhaps, I allow my favorite poets to influence my writing, and creating within stringent limits hones my craft further. It provides a wonderful way to practice for my novels.
Do you prefer long or short-form writing?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer