So I don’t really do flash fiction — stories less than 1000 words. I’ve never really understood the point of them. It’s just not enough room for an author to get a story out! But when my friend Phil Giunta decided to start Flash Fiction Fridays on his site, I decided, what the hell, I’ve been trying to learn to write short.
It’s not necessarily easy. It’s hard to find good models. The shortest fiction in the mainstream is that of Saki — H.H. Munro — and even his stuff is 30 – 50% too long.
But I did manage to come up with an idea. Last year, I wrote my third entry in the ReDeus series, published by Crazy 8 Press. Titled “Chinigchinix Nixes Pix,” it was dubbed by editor Bob Greenberger to be “The Weirdest Story We’ve Received So Far.” Gotta love earning a superlative, huh? “Nixes Pix,” as I affectionately call it (mostly because the name of the patron deity of the Tongvah people is really hard to pronounce!) was the story of a Hollywood screenwriter who must deal with meddling gods while trying to adapt a bestselling young adult novel called Call Me Sam. The idea of the novel was a throwaway gag. With all the supernatural stuff that’s thrown out (and possibly up) in the YA field, it seemed that the only thing left to commercialize was a kid who finds out he’s actually the angel of death.
But the idea grew on me immediately, and I realized that, someday, I’d like to write the story of the young man who becomes the collector of souls. I don’t have time to write another novel just now, but here’s the kernel of that story, “Call Me Sam.”