There has been an explosion in the popularity of flash fiction.

It’s everywhere now.

Sites and publications offering outlets for fiction of 101, 121, 200, 300, 500 words are all over the internet. Social media is awash with them.

Is this a new trend in writing and publishing, a new definition of the ‘short story’?

There seem to be far fewer places / publications looking for what used to be a ‘classic short story’ length of 1,500 to 3,000 words.

Is this just my perception, my view due to my ‘echo chamber’ as the trendy kids say, or is it the way things are moving in writing?

Twitter got us all used to the short pitch in social media. There are many tweets of pics of words that cheat this, but the vast majority of tweets are still the classic short word format maybe with a pic or link.

We are used to texting far more than we used to be: another short word format.

Perhaps our attention spans are being shortened by the means we typically use to communicate?

‘But wait!’ I hear you cry, ‘reading in general is becoming more popular, the art of writing is alive and well, just look at Kindle and all the other e-book formats!’

Is that true? Is the e-book growth an addition to the published world or a substitution for ‘traditional publishing’? Are there more books or the same amount just spread out over the different formats?

Who knows and who cares!? As long as people are reading more right? That has to be good for all authors right?

One of the first things I picked up when I took an interest in publishing my writing was the sound advice, ‘know your target audience’.

So if the audience is moving away from a format I write in, then I have to take that in to consideration.

Self-publishing via e-book looks more attractive, that’s true. But so does writing more short stories of the ‘flash fiction’ variety. If I was purely concerned with the audience.

But I’m as concerned with what stories I want to tell, more so really. And for those stories, the flash fiction format isn’t what’s needed.

Brevity is good. I get that. But in the same way I fight against the urge to cut out commas as much as possible, as advised by anyone who goes near my work, I also resist the urge to simply write more flash fiction.

It’s all very distracting though.

Maybe just one more 101 word story before I concentrate on editing…