In-Progress: A Glimpse into My Current Writing Projects

One of the great aspects of flash fiction is that I can work on multiple pieces at once. For a novelist, it’s nearly impossible to juggle writing multiple novels at once. Although writing flash fiction is still just as challenging to write as a book-length work (in very different ways, of course), the bite-sized nature of the form allows me to jump from one piece to another. I can write new stories while pausing to then edit a piece that is near completion. I can revise a third draft of a flash while submitting finished pieces for publication in literary magazines.

To illustrate what I mean by this, I will walk you through the writing projects I have in the works right now and their various stages in the writing process. All of these individual pieces will eventually go into a book-length collection.

Completed Pieces:

I have two completed pieces titled, “Snapshots from Our Family Trip to Arizona” and “A Photograph Snapped After Hurricane Agnes, 1972.” Both pieces are microfictions, meaning they are 300 words are fewer. I wrote both of them in a microfiction workshop that took place over several weeks. The workshop focused solely on works 300 words or fewer. This was out of my comfort zone, as I normally write within the 500-1,000 word range. After I completed the workshop, I spent about a month or so applying the feedback I received from my workshop peers. I then started the arduous process of submitting them for publication. Writers are very familiar with rejection, and I am no different. Oftentimes, writers have to submit their works–whether that be poems, novels, comics, memoirs, flash, short stories, essays–to anywhere from tens to hundreds of places until they are finally accepted for publication at a literary journal/magazine, publishing house, literary agent, etc. I’ve been submitting these two micros to literary magazines for about three months now. I’ve gotten some nice rejections, but I’m still waiting for them to get picked up. I’ve gotten so used to rejection at this point from many years of rejection, that when I receive those emails, I don’t really feel much anymore. Sometimes, my pieces will get picked up right away, sometimes it’ll take a whole year, but most of them will get picked up after a few months. It really comes down to timing–what the editors are looking for at the moment, how much space is left in a current issue of a magazine, if a literary magazine is open or closed for submissions, etc.

Nearly-Completed Pieces:

I’m working on two pieces that are a bit longer, just under 1,000 words, tentatively titled, “Hereditary” and “Daddy Long Legs.” I’m really excited for these pieces to be finished because I had a lot of fun writing them, and I can’t wait to share them with the world. I will include a snippet of “Hereditary” at the end of this post. I wrote both pieces about a month or two ago, and they’ve both gone through about 3-4 drafts. They are nearly finished–I just need to tighten up the language and bring out my scissors and cut any extraneous words and phrases because in flash every word counts!

New Pieces:

I always have anywhere from 2-10 beginning drafts of flash pieces on my laptop or journal that I might start and pick back up days, weeks, or months after starting them. These usually look like beginning thoughts/musings from a prompt I found online or heard in a workshop. Sometimes I’ll pursue them further, sometimes I’ll scratch them and start something new. Whatever it may be, I have my devoted weekly writing time. I work a full-time job, so I devote my time in the evenings to writing, reading, and whatever else may inspire my writing.

The beginning to my in-progress piece, “Hereditary”

Mother and I sit for tea as she tells me she had vampire fangs sawed off by an oral surgeon years ago. The café is a posh British-owned establishment. We wear floral dresses and wide-brimmed, tulle-wrapped hats. Mother never passes up an opportunity to dress up. We meet here every Saturday as per our agreement: move out when I turn 18, and I can visit each weekend. We settled on afternoon tea Saturdays. This is our fourth meeting. 

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