Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Frash Fliction and the Arrt of Riting

Mississippi Review's flash fiction issue has just been posted. Sad to say I only liked one story of the bunch - Mr. Cat by Paul Lisicky. I was really hoping to see a collection of what can be accomplished with this unique genre. Alas, most of the stories seem wonderful examples of what's wrong with flash fiction.

What's wrong with flash fiction? I'll let Jason Sanford tell you:

...there is no evidence that short shorts are being read by anyone outside the "literary" community.
If I were teaching creative writing today, I would say to my students, if you want to be successful, this is what you need to do. You need to get your work published in all the best literary journals, and be sure to mention your publication credits at every opportunity. Better yet, win a writing contest somewhere. And even better, get yourself a job teaching creative writing.

But if you want to write great fiction, then get the hell out of my class and go live. Go do something worth writing about. Listen to the words of Shotgun Willie when he tells us:

You can't make a record if you ain't got nothing to say.
You can't make music if you don't know nothing to play. 

This is one reason why I'm not teaching creative writing. The other being that nobody will hire me to teach creative writing. 

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