October 23, 2009

A flash of brilliance…

I’d never heard of flash fiction before I joined an online writing group (the much-missed workshop section of East of the Web, back in 2005). I soon learned that it was the backbone of online publishing, the length and style most sought and, as a result, the hardest to do well. Whatever you believe to be the optimum length and structure, the more one reads the more obvious it becomes that it the best flash pieces rely on luring the reader in, setting up certain expectations and then reversing or twisting the result, all in a few hundred words.

Every now and then one comes along that leaves a lasting impression; you keep going back to it, admiring how well it worked. The unfortunate thing is that, with so many writers contributing to so many blogs and e-zines, even a good one can disappear from view too quickly.

Do yourself a favour and check out Extinguished by Laurita Miller, posted on her Brain Droppings blog a few weeks ago. To me, and the other thirty people who’ve left comments, it has everything: a great voice, setting, mood and a killer ending.


  1. You're right that gems like this get lost quickly. Thanks for bringing it back to the surface.

  2. You want to collect them, don't you? Next thing you know, you're an editor...

  3. Laurita is now writing for the #fridayflash group. You can find stories from about 60 writers every week at that hashtag on Twitter, Facebook or here: http://jmstrother.com/MadUtopia/?page_id=13

  4. Hey Laura, thanks for the link. So much reading...

    johnny, you're welcome.

  5. Ian, I just stumbled across this post. Thank you so, so much for your kind words. This really made my day.

    Friday Flash is great fun. So many good reads to enjoy over the weekend.

  6. My pleasure Laurita. I should have mentioned it - still getting used to the whole blogosphere thing.