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There is no such thing as a bad form to write in.

You see people say it: I don't like poetry, flash fiction sucks, short fiction annoys me, plays are irritating, novels are fake. Whatever the form, there are those who won't enjoy it, but, truly, taste aside, a form itself cannot be bad. All flash fiction doesn't suck, for example. A lot of flash fiction is boring. In particular, I find flash fiction that is made up of a basic narrative structure that leads the reader in, describes the set up, and then twists at the end, to be really quite tedious. Tedious like M. Night Shyamalan films. Quite often it is stupid like those films, too. Which is not to say, of course, that all flash fiction is bad but rather, that, really, I don't care. It bores me. But no matter how much I don't enjoy these things, I know that the fault does not lie at the form. Flash fiction, as a form, is, before a writer begins his or her work, clean, free, and beautiful. Once the author has finished, however, things change. Authors ruin everything.

I got the idea for this post because I've seen a lot of people say how much they don't like flash fiction. Seems you can't go far these days before you find someone against it. Of course, they're all wrong, obviously, and me, I have a campaign to make everyone into clones that think as I do, so I wrote this post to do that. See how it works?

The discussion is here, incidentally. If you go here, you'll also see the author/editor of flash fiction, Shane Jiraiya Cummings say, "I have said things I regret online, as have most of us. My point here is consider the consequences of your "free speech"," after Alisa Krasnostein tells him all flash fiction should be banned and eradicated. She's not being serious, obviously, but he is, which makes it funny.

Anyhow, my point is, flash fiction is fine until a bad author gets their fingers on it.

Did I get lost on that?

...

Yeah, well. Maybe. Think as I do!

I have decided, however, I don't like the name 'flash fiction'. It's ugly and should be changed. See to it.

Comments

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ex_benpayne119
Dec. 21st, 2006 12:52 pm (UTC)
I think as you think.

Please subscribe me to your newsletter...

benpeek
Dec. 21st, 2006 12:57 pm (UTC)
it comes with a t-shirt.
underdogautopsy
Dec. 21st, 2006 12:58 pm (UTC)
Nor should it be called short-short fiction, which is just as unflattering a label.

Nano-fiction, perhaps.

Or maybe The-Suck-unless-you-really-know-what-the-hell-you're-doing-and-understand-the-potential-power-of-brevity.
benpeek
Dec. 21st, 2006 01:03 pm (UTC)
i bet TSUYRKWTHYDAUTPPOB would really slow people down.
girliejones
Dec. 21st, 2006 02:10 pm (UTC)
I also hate poetry. It should also be banned and eradicated.
cheerselfears
Dec. 21st, 2006 03:12 pm (UTC)
I will lead a holy war against you!!! As soon as I stop crying.
(no subject) - girliejones - Dec. 21st, 2006 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frogworth - Dec. 21st, 2006 11:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angriest - Dec. 22nd, 2006 12:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cheerselfears - Dec. 22nd, 2006 01:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Dec. 21st, 2006 09:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
cheerselfears
Dec. 21st, 2006 03:13 pm (UTC)
Damn you for sucking me into this.
benpeek
Dec. 21st, 2006 09:28 pm (UTC)
your welcome.
jody_macgregor
Dec. 21st, 2006 10:55 pm (UTC)
I like the name 'sudden fiction'.
benpeek
Dec. 22nd, 2006 12:53 am (UTC)
yeah, that's not so bad. maybe a bit too flash fiction related, tho.
(no subject) - jody_macgregor - Dec. 22nd, 2006 01:38 am (UTC) - Expand
throughsoftair
Dec. 21st, 2006 10:57 pm (UTC)
I've always liked the term one of the major mags (Asimovs? Analog? maybe) used for it in the 70s: Probability Zeroes.

Which is roughly the chance of the term catching on again :)
angriest
Dec. 22nd, 2006 12:11 am (UTC)
How about 7" Stories? And then a normal short is more like a 12", and then a whole novel is a proper album.
benpeek
Dec. 22nd, 2006 12:55 am (UTC)
i like it, myself. it'd be better to call a collection an album, though, don't you reckon?

still, i like it. seven inch stories. hmm. wait... maybe it makes me think of penis...

...

twelve inch.

;)
(no subject) - angriest - Dec. 22nd, 2006 12:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Dec. 22nd, 2006 01:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angriest - Dec. 22nd, 2006 01:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Dec. 22nd, 2006 01:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angriest - Dec. 22nd, 2006 02:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Dec. 22nd, 2006 02:45 am (UTC) - Expand
angriest
Dec. 22nd, 2006 12:14 am (UTC)
Re: the whole ASiF argument, I personally found Alisa's off-the-cuff remark perfectly harmless and didn't feel the slightest annoyance or offence at all - and about half the short fiction I've ever had published has been flash/short-short/whatever.

The sublime overreaction on behalf of some others, however, was *priceless*.
benpeek
Dec. 22nd, 2006 12:59 am (UTC)
yeah, it was pretty priceless. from what i hear, those overreactions have been in a few places recently. certainly i've seen a few of them in my time ;)
mattdoyle
Dec. 22nd, 2006 12:26 am (UTC)
yes, sometimes i think editors who ask ONLY for "flash" fiction are just doing it to save them some time actually reading anything substantial :D lazy bastards!
ataxi
Dec. 22nd, 2006 01:10 am (UTC)
(1) It's retarded to expect "impartiality" from reviewers and editors. Their job is to discriminate, and to know shit from not-shit. They will pre-judge you. They will change their judgements later if warranted. "You're an editor! How dare you express an opinion!" - just consider the logic of that for a second. Oh wait there is no logic.

(2) Form does determine possibilities. In purely mathematical terms there's a maximum amount of information words can convey. If your form has ten words as a hard maximum, any artistic goal involving the transmission of more than the maximum that ten words can transmit becomes infeasible. In addition to this form determines accessibility and market.

(3) Perhaps there exists at least one worthwhile artistic goal achievable within the constraints of any given artistic form. Most may not be.
benpeek
Dec. 22nd, 2006 02:08 am (UTC)
for does determine possibilities, but it doesn't determine if the outcome is good or not, that it doesn't do. i've seen some technically superb ten word stories, for example. just cause the end result is different shouldn't lessen the form itself.
(no subject) - ataxi - Dec. 22nd, 2006 03:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Dec. 22nd, 2006 03:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ataxi - Dec. 22nd, 2006 03:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Dec. 22nd, 2006 03:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mattdoyle - Dec. 22nd, 2006 04:56 am (UTC) - Expand
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