A novella in flash in a canny concept. Flash by nature and when done well can contain within a few hundred words the resonance of an entire novel. By layering one on top of another to build up to the length of a novella (or at least, a meaty short story), you get a cumulative effect. Each individual piece, ranging from a single line or paragraph to a page or two, has the strength to stand alone, but by adding more attuned pieces to the slew, you end up with a distinctly explosive novella form. Quite simply, you get more bang for your buck.
This is never truer than with Luke Whisnant’s In the Debris Field, the title novella of Bath Flash Fiction Award’s trio of novellas in flash. Whisnant tells the story of Dennis (referred to throughout almost solely as ‘You’), his twin sister Denise and brother Donnie as they skid through childhood to middle-age. Contained in such small parcels, each tale’s narrative is heightened, summoning the raw emotions of adolescence with soaring skill. Continue reading