17 March 2013
Have you come across Calum Kerr?
If you have ever dabbled (or thought of dabbling) in Flash Fiction, then you should get to know him. Not only is he an acclaimed short fiction writer, he is also the Director of National Flash Fiction Day and all-round good egg. You can read all about NFFD here. (Eek! the deadline is tomorrow 18th March. *frantically raids files for something suitable*)
I would be the first to admit that I am a total novice when it comes to Flash Fiction. I find it difficult to cut to the chase. If you also waffle too easily, then one of Calum's on-line courses is perfect for you, even if you never intend to write in that discipline. Keeping a sharp focus is essential, even in novel writing.
I have just finished one of Calum's six-week online courses: Editing and Re-writing. During that time, I and my fellow course members tackled copy-editing (and the dreaded Word Track-Changes) plus the many and various aspects of rewriting. Exercises are progressive and enjoyable, if challenging. (If you ever thought trying to write a short piece without the letter e or stuffed full of clichés or following a strict word-count. was a doddle - think again.
Not only did I brush up my skills, it made me look again at my own writing - even novel writing - with a much sharper eye and careful attention to detail.
I thoroughly recommend it. Calum is a perfect course leader: patient, neither too gushing with praise or over-critical. His balance is just right. And it's not over-expensive. You can find information about him and his courses here on his website.
And please have a go at some Flash Fiction even if it's just for fun. If you have, like me, missed the NFFD deadline there are plenty of other competitions and publishers seeking submissions out there to choose from.