Friday, September 5, 2008

On "Border-Line Nostalgic" by Kelsey Rakes (205 words) ****

Perhaps one of the best and worst things about flash fiction is the way that it often ignores the conventional rules of short story form--that is, of plot, the whole idea of rising tension, climax, and resolution. Often, flash fiction is simply a reminiscence, a memory, stated in some nice words. In other words, it's a prose poem--not technically, a story, though many might call it such. At the same time, being shackled to story plots can be rather dreadful too. One can write a perfectly crafted story and have it be infinitely less interesting than a long piece of writing that technically hasn't followed the "rules" about what a short story is supposed to do. With regard to flash fiction, however, I think too often that writers just write--I'm more interested, generally, in those short short fiction pieces that manage to convey a plot trajectory in such a short space (and be well written) than in those that manage to be merely well written. And then there are pieces that make me not even care. After all, isn't part of what a great piece of writing does, be it story or poem or essay, make us feel?

Rakes's piece is such a work. I haven't spent any time examining whether it's technically a story or just a great piece of writing, and I don't care. It's magical, and that's what matters more. It evokes a sense of the past (and the present) and is sad, sad, sad. Read the story here at Right Hand Pointing.


Anonymous said...

Just so you know, Kelsey Rakes is on deviant art and has quite a following there, where she goes by the name estallidos. I'm a big fan of her and stumbled on your blog.

If you're interested, here's a link:

Short Story Reader said...

Thanks for the info/link. This is one of the more popular blog posts, so Rakes's reputation must be building.