Several days ago I bought four notebooks and a box of #2 medium point pencils. My creative process for writing a flash fiction story has begun.
I actually try to “see” the typography of a story on the page. Will it begin with two or three paragraphs of solid description? Will it begin with four sentences of exposition and then dialogue? Or will the story be made up mostly of exposition and description with little dialogue? And how long will the story be? 500 words? 750 words? 1,000 words? And all of this is done even before I have a storyline or characters.
I try to think of a real situation that I’ve seen or been a part of and where it took place and the people that were involved.
Then I try to give the situation a beginning, a middle and a resolution.
I leave one of the notebooks open on my cluttered writing desk with several of the #2 pencils sharpen in a skinny jar, the points upward. An old tin astry with a small metal pencil sharpener sits on the desk.
Finally, I simply go about my life and I “think” about the story, from time to time jotting down ideas in the notebook. This may go on for days until bingo, I have a storyline and the two or three main characters; I also have the locale and a beginning, middle and resolution.
Then with all these notes I sit down to write the story. The actual writing of the story may take two or three days. I never work more than two or three hours at a time.
Finally, I’ll set the story aside for a couple of days and then go back to it and revise it several times until it begins to read the way I know a finished story should read. Then I stop. Everyone’s creative process is different. That’s my creative process. And I’m happy to report that this creative process for a new flash fiction story has begun.
In the mean time I still have several stories stockpiled. The Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette is not going to run out of stories any time soon.
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