Mark Twain and Blaise Pascal

Patisserie2Mark Twain once wrote  (having copied it from the French thinker Blaise Pascal) “I am sorry for the length of this letter, but I did not have the time to write a short one”.

This captures the essence of a good short story or piece of flash fiction.
Each word, every phrase and punctuation must be chosen with care to create exactly the right tone and image. It is easier to write long, descriptive passages than to convey an image, mood or emotion in a few well-selected words.

It is like standing in front of a French patisserie window and only having enough money for two delicious cakes. Which do you choose? Which flavours complement each other so as not to clash?

Choice, selection, decision. The essence of good short fiction.

Picture courtesy of

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