The idea of writing flash fiction brings out a dangerous mix of emotions in me. My First impulse is to pulverize my computer until the keys spin and dance across the floor. This hatred for the style is balanced by my desire to grab a drink (coffee, energy drinks, or strong alcohol – sometimes all of the above) and knock out lines that are destined to win some kind of award or bring out the most extreme emotions in my readers. I’m always able to hold off the former desire since I can’t afford to hulk out on my pc. As for the latter, I don’t think I’ve ever brought a reader to tears, at least not that I’ve been told.
Those thoughts seem to encompass the struggle and joy I find in writing flash fiction. I find the challenge of this writing style rewarding, but I’ve also experienced the frustration of contemplating for hours how to make the most of a story with less words only to scrap it later.
I’ve had some success with what is often called penny fiction (a story made up of a sentence or two). Since then, I’ve wanted to tell stories of the apocalypse on Twitter in 140 characters or less. I’d rather writer these stories in 25 words or less, but you have to work with what you’re given. Is a story that size even possible?
Best answer I have is: “I’m not sure.” An editor I had once used an example that is often credited to Hemmingway; “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”
My goal is to write a piece on Twitter every day. It’s challenging – dangerously frustrating – but rewarding, and I’ve noticed a gain in followers. But what I’d love more than anything is see what others think about zombie flash fiction. Do you think that a zombie or apocalyptic story can be told in such a short amount of time? Can you write one? If so, join in the fun on twitter, so that my #twitterpocalypse isn’t so lonely.
Brice J. Chandler is a Mutant Zombie advocate and also a US Marine Corp veteran. He deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit which responded to the tragic events of Sept. 11th, 2001. He later earned the Purple Heart during combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq in 2006/2007. Since then he has worked in factories and as a pewter-smith before graduating from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. His military background and work experience are often reflected in his writing. Although he writes in many genres, he considers zombie, apocalyptic, and dystopian stories his true love. Brice and his wife, Kimberly, currently reside in a small river town in North Eastern Missouri under the harsh rule of their three daughters: Emilie, Charlotte, and Piper.