Welcome to Flash Points. Every Monday we stick one of the previous Friday’s entries under a sparklyscope (that’s one huge piece of machinery) and talk about it right in front of its face, dragon style. What makes writing “good”? Specifically, what makes great flash? Let the discussion begin!

Prompt: Circus siblings

Word limit: 190-210

Today’s chosen flash piece:  You tell me!


One of the reasons I love having rotating judges for Flash! Friday is the unique perspective each one brings. As both writers and readers, we each carry our own priorities too. Sometimes we agree with the judge’s decision. Sometimes we don’t. But in both cases (as well as in the comments on entries) I love seeing what in a story captures judges and readers. A lot of times a judge sees something I missed on my first reading. Each time a story is put on a pedestal, I learn something too.

So today I thought I’d explore that idea a little by opening up the conversation. What was YOUR favorite story this week (find them here), and why? Let’s see what YOU, the Flash! Friday community, saw in this week’s (off-kilter) tales.



16 thoughts on “Flash Points GOES OFF THE DEEP END

      • Well. I really liked Dr Magoo’s unique take on the prompt and the imaginative nature of the story, and I enjoyed H.L. Pauff’s because it was sick and twisted, and I’m sort of sick and twisted too, at times. I got a lot of glee out of imagining what Dr Magoo’s character’s secret was, and also what was going to happen when the ‘dad’ in Pauff’s story came back down the stairs…

    • Thank you! I spent a long time worrying about how to tell what the secret was…and then realized I didn’t need to, and the story was better for it. 🙂

      • Absolutely. I loved the ending of your story – the fact that the reader isn’t told the secret adds punch to your finish. It was a great story. 🙂

  1. I really enjoyed SJ O’Hart’s actually haha. Great characterization, balanced between both the narration and dialog, and it left me curious for more.

    However, I think that last bit is a drawback in flash fiction – I think you should know what the whole situation is, even if it’s not explicitly stated. For that reason, I’d say I preferred Alissa’s, because it keeps that same sense of there could be more, but the story is in itself completed by the very last two words.

    Curious to see what others thought 🙂

    • Thanks so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I had a lot of fun with it. I enjoyed reading yours as well. I loved the peacefulness I felt from your tale. The restfulness was very attractive – I wanted to live there! 🙂 …and, of course, eat the pancakes…I love pancakes! (I could smell them…)

    • Thanks a lot, Aria! Glad to know you liked bits of my story, though sorry we differ on the ‘leaving things unsaid’ aspect. 🙂 I think it makes a story more powerful not to have everything spelled out, but I can understand what you’re saying. Thanks for your thoughts!

      • I don’t think things need to be spelled out 100%, but I just don’t want to be left with huge questions at the end, personally – maybe because I deal mostly with novels. I want a whole picture, even if it’s a challenge to make out, as opposed to a puzzle with pieces completely missing, if that makes sense. But hey, what do I know? 🙂

  2. Rebekah! There are so many great ones this week! How are we supposed to choose! (That’s why you left it up to us, huh?) I did enjoy Betsy’s dialog, it was very fun and said so much about the characters, but I also liked Paula J’s dialog (that’s one sweet sister – I’d of made him walk!). I also was very moved by dragonsflypoppy’s “The Lost Girl.” The grief was palpable and it was the entry that brought tears to my eyes…so sad! Also, I enjoyed LupusAnthropos’s twist at the end. I thought it was well done and completed the story rather that changing it (which so many twists rely on for shock value). However, my two favorites (yeah, I should never be a judge – who can decide things like this???) were HL Pauff, and AmyBeth Inverness – for very different reasons, but both very ‘MOM’ oriented.

    AmyBeth managed to paint the picture of the brother/sister relationship so well. I loved his inventiveness in trying to get out of what his sister wanted to get him into! And, of course, mom to the rescue! I liked his slyness and picture of innocence when getting mom to do exactly what he wanted without him actually going against his sister… It made me smile!

    HL’s was so powerful. The difference between the two characters was stark and the contrast really helped draw attention do their different viewpoints – hinted at with such subtlety that it didn’t hit you over the head, but wormed it’s way into your heart. Her pregnancy made me wonder how many times the man had tried this ‘experiment.’ And, of course, the mothers love. Her ability to love even that which seemed to others a horrible mistake…beautiful.

  3. I think Stephen and Betsy’s stories were excellent. Stephen’s was highly original and Betsy’s dialogue was so natural. Someone else’s that I liked was Paula J’s as she too had included very natural dialogue that captured the characters’ relationship beautifully. Anthony M’s use of language in his story was fantastic. The opening paragraph says so much. The various circus acts returning to school bully, nerd etc., and the girls holding hands as they are forced to walk away from a world where they are comfortable to one where they are misfits, I found very moving.

  4. I thought the post by Anthony M was just brilliant. I loved how he managed to transform the image in the reader’s mind, completely dissolving it and creating a new one in so few words. How fantastic, and as Marie says very moving. I loved Marie’s story, such believable letters, and so many cute touches, such as the worry about standing by the balcony!
    I’ve been thinking a lot about the discussion above as to whether these pieces of fiction need to be a whole story in themselves, or is it ok to leave them open-ended? Personally I quite like the open-ending, being left with a question that the reader can fill in from their own imagination. (I always like to finish them off with a happy ending in my mind!) I do take the point made by Aria and can see what she means too. It’s a tricky one to reconcile.
    PS Alissa – thank you for what you said about mine, was hoping the emotion would come across. 🙂

  5. On the topic of endings, I think a flash piece, like any other story, should end in an appropriate way for that story. I don’t think every flash should come to an absolute conclusion, I certainly would not make that an aim. I like to play about with form when I am practising flash writing. I think the form it takes can be as important as any of the other literary features – just thought I would throw that one out there! But I am prepared to be absolutely wrong!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s