The fast pace of a large city fits the fast pace of flash fiction.
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I’m a committed flash fiction writer and I feel very fortunate that I was born in and live in Pittsburgh. Now Pittsburgh is not a large city like LA or New York; but it’s large enough. It’s large enough for me to get stories from the city without exhausting the supply. Basically, I just have to live and keep my eyes and ears open.
But this article is not about me. It’s about any writer who lives in a city and wants to write short stories no matter how long they are. Living in a city, or for that matter living in a small town, is a goldmine for a writer. I’m sure living in a rural area is a goldmine, too, but I don’t know about rural areas and this article is about living in a city.
In most cities around the size of Pittsburgh you have all kinds of ethnic groups. You have professional and college sports teams. You have cultural events. You have the history of that city. You have the business and arts community of that city. You have your own connection to that city. Which means you have a personal interest in the city. If you are a writer you have an endless amount of material for your stories.
As any writer knows, once people find out that you take writing seriously they want to tell you their stories so that you can write them up. Non-writers don’t understand that the person living the “story” is the best person to write the story. Biographers who write other people’s stories have two things that make the writing possible: the person probably has a life that is of interest to more than just the subject’s family and friends and it will be worth the biographers time to spend months if not years in filling out all the details of the subject’s life. The subject is usually news worthy and the biographer figures on making money from the deal.
So, the flash fiction writer who lives in a city has a lot to write about. Why, the writer could even write about his or her personal life in the city and make very good flash fiction stories out of it.
Flash fiction can be at the very heart of the story about the nitty gritty city.
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