Trying not to lose the reader

One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned when it comes to Miro/Flash Fiction is keeping it short without losing the story– or the audience.

With flash fiction, I’ve learned that you have to limit the scope of the story and not lose yourself in the subplots and details.  I think that’s the first lesson everyone who’s written a flash story has learned.  The second, more important lesson is to not lose the reader.

I didn’t really learn that particular trick until I started judging flash fiction.  Judging is hard, and no matter how hard you try to make it fair, a lot of it comes down to subjective values.

I’ve noticed that the writers I like the most, and understand the most… write the way I like to write and tend to read the same things.  It makes sense, because unless you’re writing for the judges or the audience… you’re writing for you.

The only problem with writing for you is the fact that you know what’s going on inside your head while your reader may not.  When you start writing to share with others… that’s when you have to make sure you don’t lose the reader.

I’ve read some really good stories that built a beautiful world only to fall flat at the end.  Instead of remembering what I liked about the story I was left with that gut wrenching question of “why did I bother?” and the realization that I would never get that time back.

In the coming weeks, I’m going to be reviewing books and stories I’ve read analyzing what I liked and what I didn’t like about the story in an effort to understand, and perhaps explain what I’m talking about here.

So, as always, keep your hands inside the story at all times, sit back and enjoy the ride.


August 13, 2015

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