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.

October 20, 2009

Erin Cole's Countdown to Halloween

This should be fun! Erin Cole, on her Listen to the Voices blog, is hosting a series of 13 horror stories by different authors from the 19th of October through to Halloween.

The first story, Michael J. Solender’s Orange Dot, will have you seeing spots in front of your eyes. And your mailbox…