Taylor Eaton is a California native who, after traveling across Europe and the US, finally migrated back to her hometown in Southern California. She is currently working on a handful of novellas and novels while writing flash/micro-fiction (really, really short stories).
During her travels she picked up a B.A. in Linguistics, some fluency in French and Italian, a partial Masters, and a love of wine. She always finds herself at her happiest when she has a pen, paper, and an hour to kill.
Taylor is also the winner of our last flash fiction contest. You can read about it here.
What is your inspiration for flash fiction?
My inspiration comes from all different places. Each story grows out of a unique idea. When I’m stuck and looking for inspiration, I often head over to Pinterest. I find that an intriguing visual can inspire a story or two. But for the general practice of writing flash fiction, I’d say that I’m inspired to do so because I love telling vivid, concise tales. If a story can be told in less than a thousand words, why waste extra letters?
Do you let characters drive your story, or do you decide how the story is going to go before you start writing?
My stories often start with a vague idea or concept. A kind of inkling of a setting or plot. But as soon as I start writing, I plop a character in the story and then let them run wild. I often don’t know how a story is going to end until I write the last sentence. I think that character-driven flash fiction is usually the most powerful. Readers don’t typically connect with a setting or a plot; they connect with the characters.
Do you write every day, or do you wait for inspiration to knock on your door?
I try to write every day. Some days I slip and don’t find the energy or time to write. But most days, yes, I write. I’ve found that by making writing a habit, it gets easier for inspiration to find me each day. I can get in the groove more easily (and am much more productive) when I write each and every day. I think that waiting for inspiration to knock is kind of a pitfall. Inspiration, in my opinion, isn’t so much a whimsical, mystical thing. It’s more like a muscle that you have to exercise. And you do that by writing every day.
Of all your flash fiction stories, do you have a favorite?
Characters, plot development, writing style. Put them in order of importance!
1. Character(s) – you can have the best plot in the world or the prettiest prose, but if your character falls flat, so does your story.
2. Writing style – make your readers thirst for more of your words! Do clever things with language! Make your story something that is exciting to read.
3. Plot development – even though it’s #3 on my list, it’s still so very important to have a cohesive and complete plot, ESPECIALLY in flash fiction. It’s really the backbone of the story. Without it, you’d just have words.
Thank you for your time, Taylor!