I had another rejection today. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to it. But the good news is that I can share it. The story is a piece of flash fiction. Not that I truly understand flash fiction.
I tend to see it as an art in itself. A novel is a particular type of writing and yet it is as different to a short story as a duck is to a fish. The same can be said for the differences between flash fiction and the short story. A novel can take a whole life, or just a day, just a month or even a week. I’m working on one at the moment that is looking at only 13 hours. But I tend to write my short stories on a shorter timescale; an hour or so. Then there is flash fiction, for me this is almost the same as a moment. I see them as a prose version of poetry, it captures an instant, an idea. And I need practice.
So my last piece of flash fiction was for the NWR and it didn’t make it. I do feel down but I am also filled with questions – why? What was wrong with it?
Unfortunately, as with all competitions, you never get any feedback for your story, so I don’t know why it didn’t get through. All I can think is that it wasn’t what they were looking for. Although as I read it again, it could have been the subject matter. I really ought to write something up-beat, but I do love the darker side of emotions.
Anyhow here it is and it had to be only 100 words including the title:
I don’t know why. It seems strange now, but I’d walked out of school, bag bumping into my leg, jumper falling off my shoulders, and I’d stood at the roadside. My friends all crossed, yelling and screaming, but I’d just stood and watched. They all sauntered into the shop to get the latest flavoured sweets. I ought to have been with them. Instead I’d just stepped out. Next, my vision was filled with white faces and white coats, even the smells were white, clean. “Why did you do it?” they asked. I had no answer. Just because.