Extra treats for Harvey this week, as I heard I'd won second prize in the Spilling Ink flash fiction competition.
Until last year I had something of a blind spot where flash fiction was concerned. I'd never tried writing it, because I couldn't imagine being able to develop characters in the way I wanted within a word count of perhaps only 500 or less. For me, characters and relationships are the things I really like to explore in stories, way ahead of plots or themes.
But then for some reason I went through a bit of a sea-change. I started experimenting with flash fiction, and found I enjoyed the challenge. I realised that if the main character was clear enough in my mind, it was possible to pin them down on paper. It was just a matter of working hard within the tight focus of the story, and not getting distracted by rambling sub-plots as I am inclined to do. That may sound obvious, but I am a great believer in the principle that we only really learn by doing.
So the moral of this particular tale is that even if you think you can't, have a bash anyway. You may find that you can!