An audition so-to-speak, an opportunity that might lead to writing a bigger story in the Earth’s Final Chapter series. Writing flash fiction for Endless Ink was a first for me. I am a novelist; I have been since I began writing at a young age. I write longer stories, with detailed descriptions that grab the reader by their hand and lead them into the work. These descriptions I’m accustomed to crafting were instantly limited as I delved into the world of flash fiction. The only boundary I was given by Endless Ink was the minuscule word count, outside of that I had the freedom of creating something for the EFC world. The start was a challenge. As freeing as it was to let my imagination fly, no matter how I went about it I could not make this piece work for me.
I had the subject of this flash fic decided, and story well planned out, I even had a few notes written down to give me an anchor in case the story got away from me—as they often do. The struggle was ever-present as I wrote draft after draft attempting to meet the word count set. Eventually I came to the decision that I needed to ignore everything; my notes, my original idea, my plan—just forget it all and smash out a quick story.
I did just that and managed to meet word count restrictions. It was far from my normal story or process, however, I was new to the format of flash fiction and disapproving of the piece from the start, wanting to give the reader more.
The ‘submit’ button was pushed and I eagerly awaited the final say from those in charge of the Endless Ink Publishing House family.
My family and I celebrated the fact I earned the attention from a publishing house, and hopefully more opportunities to come. The waiting seemed like forever, even though it was less than a couple days. When I received the email, I was torn if I should even open the darn thing. Afraid of both rejection and acceptance, on such a small, delicate little story. In that moment as I stared at the email, I was not sure which was more fearsome.
Rejection meant I would return to my normal writing schedule, plugging away at words when time allowed me, amidst the reality of an ever-busy adult life. A life I absolutely love, don’t get me wrong, but I had worked for so many years to accomplish getting published and here it finally was.
Acceptance meant I would be thrust into a series well-underway, a plot well-planned, and a group of talented individuals already working to progress the storyline. I opened the email to find that my flash fiction piece was not what they had been looking for, however, my style of writing was not something they wanted to pass up so they offered me a chance to work it over some more and join their ranks of #TeamEFC writers and world builders.
Julian and I worked to refine my skills in writing flash fiction which helped a great deal and allowed me to enjoy the process as well-rounded work was produced. My study of the series followed so I could best understand the world I would be building upon, and Earth’s Final Chapter soon became my favorite science fiction/fantasy series to read. Earth’s Final Chapter had its talons deep in my muse and wouldn’t let her free. I loved it and didn’t struggle against its pull.
Bunker 283. A project which put my name into their file, a published piece which will make me proud for the rest of my life. Flash fiction. A marvelous beast aching to be tamed by the few writers capable of such a daunting task. Call it easy all you want, say that anyone can write flash fiction, cast shade on those who avoid the task. The truth is it takes a special kind of writer to produce quality flash fiction. Sure, anyone can write it, but only a few can pull you into the piece with so few words. I continue to write flash fiction for EFC, however, not a line is scribed without struggle, a struggle to craft something so small, but worthy of being read.
By Azalan Reign
Follow him on twitter @ScribeNate