Hoffman on flash fiction, longer stories

Carrie Hoffman is guest-editing Opium Magazine this month, and is interviewed there.An excerpt:

You were asked to edit Opium because we love your short work. You tend to write short-short-shorts. At least for Opium. Is that what you’re best at, or do you have an 11,000 page novel in the works?

For a while, I was in a rut where all I could write were short-shorts–writing them puts me in a compressionist mode, where I don’t think beyond whatever moment or mood I’ve created in a paragraph or two. Writing them, in some ways, made me more focused on the meaning of a moment, but also had a negative impact on my ability to develop ideas.

I’ve been trying to write long pieces, though, because of advice I got from the editor of Epoch, which was that I’d probably never establish a career as a writer if I kept writing such fleeting pieces. So I do write longer stories, too – that’s what I write for my fiction workshops–and I’ve been somewhat successful in them, though they’re different and more traditional, and maybe more boring, than my short pieces…


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