What is Flash Fiction?
Actually, our first creative writing task was not the first time I had come across the term flash fiction. Indeed, it is through seeking out fun ways to learn Chinese that I began to think about how to make writing Chinese characters, just that little more enjoyable.
I have spent considerable time teaching myself Chinese by following the HSK Chinese language syllabus. There are 6 levels, from beginner to advanced, and I am lurking somewhere in the danger zone* between level 4 than 5. That means I can recognise between 1200 (HSK 4) and 2500 (HSK Level 5) characters. This is where writing flash fiction steps could be of use. Flash fiction is essentially a short story of about 1000 words. Translate that to HSK Level 4, where I’m at, really, then its a perfect fit to keep me recyling the words I know in a creative way. I set up a blog on weibo, and my creative juices were flowing, and then…well, as with all great ideas, I didn’t go through with it!
Fast forward to today, and I am considering again posting on my Chinese blog, or, perhaps easier still, to post on this blog in Chinese. Check back soon to find out if that idea comes to fruition.
First Creative Writing Task
Choose two elements and write a short flash fiction story about them.
Happy to have some guidance, I expanded on the above with my own method:
– Choose two elements (air and fire)
– Brainstorm words related to those elements
– Brainstorm the basic outline of a love story (element meets element, element falls for element, oracle proclaims the elements are destined not to be together, cue lots of sobbing)
– Group words that sound the same
– Fight the urge to write a poem
– Accept the urge to write a poem
First Flash Fiction – Element Love Story
So air was light, and bright, and slight, so full of delicate charm,
And fire was dense, immense, and tense, so moody, not false but alarm
Sudden bright spark, allumes* dark, substance swirls and makes its mark
Whistle of wind, wispy still, envelopes like gown, pervades a chill
The elements, the matter, two compliment signs, compliments chatter
But hearts, entwined, destiny faced, never to matter.
An oracle spoke, and cried and choked, the words that led to doom
And in that time, the smoke and hope, just dissipated into gloom
So there was air, so full of despair, so full of angst and dread
And there was fire, so full of rage, so angry, not yellow but red
And the lesson today, of love dismay, of love so commonly had
It’s compliments attract, but destiny rules, not mad, not sad, just fact
If I use a thesaurus and dictionary, is that still being creative?
Can I mix in other languages?
Are the differing tempos, OK?
*’allumes’ comes from the french verb allumer – to light up/brighten