(It’s me, everybody…)
Five months ago I submitted a story to a Flash Fiction writing contest with my writing group, which I normally do every year. For those who don’t know, flash fiction is short short fiction, usually meaning 1000 words or less, and sometimes even shorter than that. While 1000 words sounds like a deluge of creativity when we are in 5th grade and trying to come up with an essay, for people who like to write it feels draconic. As you type of your story, you end up crashing into that 1000 word wall faster than you’d think, often running out of space about 2/3 of the way through your idea.
To makes things even tougher, this contest gives you assigned prompts that have to be part of your story as your write. The prompts can be a blessing and a curse, helping your think in new ways, but also limiting what you might want to write about. One year, my prompt included the word “farrier,” which I had to look up. I still wrote a fun little story, but didn’t feel that (or my past attempts) were complete ideas. This year, though, I loved the prompt I got: lawyer + internet cafe. I decided to take it in the direction of a cat cafe, with a lawyer who was an expert on magical law. Because hey, who doesn’t like a little extra magic in their stories.
Cats, coffee, magic, and detective work? Yup. It’s got all of those. What more could you ask for? Well, by the time the results came out, I could only vaguely remember what I’d submitted. Yet the story worked out and the judges liked it too. I scored 22nd, just barely squeaking into the top 25 to get included in the story anthology. You can read more about it and pick up a copy on the TL;DR Press website, or email or message me to send you a link.