Opinion: Does Shorter Mean Easier?

I see several people suggesting to new writers that they start with flash fiction and work their way up to higher word counts as the improve. I can’t wrap my head around that. I can manage a short story, but flash fiction is really hard for me. I’ve tried to write it, and I struggle with the word count. I’ll finish a piece and discover that work is over three thousand words. It took me several months to get it under a thousand.

I have only improved because my editing is getting better. I can’t imagine following the advice to start with flash fiction before moving up to larger word counts. When I started writing, I was convinced that every single letter was pure gold. I couldn’t bear to edit out more than a few words. I was unable to get a piece below three thousand words when I started. It hurt too much. I would have quit writing if I had to work at editing that hard right at the start. I think writing an entire novel is easier than writing a few flash pieces. In a novel, you can just go crazy.

Still, I’ve see this advice given out on just about every writing forum I’ve participated in. Am I a freak? Do most people really find it easier to write flash before moving up the word count chain. What’s your opinion? I’d really like to know.

5 Comments

    1. I’ll agree to a point. When I was very new, shorter plot was too much for me as well. But once I realized that a slice of life could be a very thin sliver, I could make a nice short plot. The word count is a doozie, though. I still struggle with it. It would be good for me to master it. I’m always the resident Teal Deer on every blog I participate.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. We agree on that. I am tempted to write some flash fiction with the characters in the current novel I’m writing. I’m only in the second draft, so it will be a while. But maybe if I write flash fiction from the points of view of several of the different characters before my story ever began, people might get interested in them enough to read my story once it’s finally out there on the market.

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  2. When you’re writing and it’s all coming from your heart, it’s almost impossible to stop at a certain point just to make it short! It’s being unfair to your creativity and your power of expressing yourself freely!

    Liked by 1 person

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