Flash Recommendations: Between Panic and Desire

Dinty W. Moore

Between Panic & Desire by Dinty W. Moore is technically memoir, and it’s full of chapters that are flash length, as well as structures that break form and tradition. As detailed on the publisher site, this memoir “unfolds in kaleidoscopic forms—a coroner’s report, a TV movie script, a Zen koan—aptly reflecting the emergence of a fractured virtual America.”

Gearing up to teach my online flash course this spring, I reached out to author Dinty W. Moore, who also edits the esteemed Brevity: A Concise Journal of Literary Nonfiction, and asked him to share his thoughts on flash form writing:

“There are certain times – just watch how politicians talk – that an abundance of words serves only to conceal meaning. The more you say, the less you say. What I love about the flash form is that it often forces the writer to pin down what she really means, what is really true, rather than allowing a list of half-formed possibilities. Mary Karr famously says, ‘Never waste a reader’s time,’ and not only is she right, but look how few words she needed to make her point.”

This book is funny, dark, deep, and inspiring–to say they least. A quick, powerful read. If you like to play, experiment, and feel “freed up” even when writing through “the hard stuff, ” I suggest reading Dinty’s memoir, as well as reaching out to me by email to see if your writing needs align with what I’ll be teaching this April for Into the Flash. May the writing force be with you!


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