Wednesday, 24 April 2013


I got distracted yesterday by a flash fiction competition. I thought "Hey! I have one already written, I could enter that!" It turned out my existing story was more than three times too long, since the limit is 99 words. 99 words! It's amazingly few to tell a story. Try it. I started drafting a new one, which hovered around 104 words despite all my chopping and polishing.

Having an external limit sometimes leads to greater creativity as you work around the constraints. I decided that instead of a long word count I would make each word work harder, and allow multiple interpretations. So far it is ambiguous enough to sustain three different meanings. It will be interesting to see if I can pull it off.

The competition is the New Welsh Review Flash In The Pen - Microfiction Competition. Write something. Enter. The joy with such a small word count is that it takes only minutes to write 99 words but much longer to polish them. It's like an equation, add and subtract, change variables, strike out a line and start again. Pretty much prose poetry, which is always worth practising.