I've had a fabulous learning experience this week. I had to submit a short story of around 700 words, so I decided to convert a specific story of 2000 words into a piece of flash fiction (700 words). Does it sound crazy? I had a precious opportunity that I did not want to waste, and I considered this was the right story to do that. (I am not going into details over this because it is not the purpose of this blog entry).
I wasn't sure it would work out. It did. Tightening this short story was an enlightening experience. I was able to enhance the emotional intensity of the piece. I made it more powerful. In the ruthless process of trimming, I was able to see how by cutting down sentences and details I made relevant pieces of information stand out. I also came to the realization that there was some clutter that did not need to be there. I spotted pieces where I had been over-telling.
I read it aloud many times because I care about the musicality of what I craft. (Reading aloud is always part of my editing process).
Have you ever tried converting a short story into a piece of flash fiction? If you haven't, try so. Just for the fun of it. You will learn a lot about the power of saying less and expressing more.