Posted in Short Story Writing, Writing

All About Flash Fiction

In my opinion, flash fiction is considered a short story. It’s a full tale with fleshed out characters and resolved plot. It’s just super short.

Short stories aren’t easy to write. Neither are novels. Yet, people (myself included on some occasions) say that short stories are “easier” to write than novels because it’s shorter.

Flash fiction, then, must be a piece of cake.

All about flash fiction

What is flash fiction?

Flash fiction is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a piece of fiction that takes a flash to read.

No, really, it’s very short short story. The typical length of flash fiction stories can be anywhere between 300 words and 1,500 words.

Of course, some people write six-word stories, 100-word drabbles, and so on. As long as it’s pretty short, it’s considered flash fiction.

How do you write flash fiction?

As concise as possible. Write only what matters to the story. Don’t add any filler content, just keep advancing that plot and developing those characters.

Use unique and vivid language to get your point across. Be sure to have a clear ending in mind and figure out how you’re going to get there in 1,000 words or 700 words or 300 words.

Where should you start writing flash fiction?

Explore the flash fiction world first. Read flash fiction stories or even poetry to get a feel for a language. Of course, you’re ultimately writing in your own voice and style, but reading examples doesn’t hurt.

Then, pick up your pen and just write. If you aim for 500 words, just write and see how many you end up with. Then you cut it down just like you would edit your novel.

Writing prompts help come up with ideas and a timer can do wonders if you want to start and finish something as quickly as possible. Can you write 500 words in 10 minutes? Set a timer. If you write more or less, you can add and cut out words after.

Why write flash fiction?

Writing flash fiction can really reel in your writing skills. It tones your writing and teaches you to cut out the filler stuff. Keep what’s only important to the plot and character development.

That, and it’s a fun challenge.

Do you typically write flash fiction? Do you read it often? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!

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Author:

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Rachel Poli is a writer and blogger. She has an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a bachelor’s degree in English Studies. She enjoys writing young adult novels, middle-grade, and children’s picture books. She is currently working on her first novel.

22 thoughts on “All About Flash Fiction

  1. Hi Rachel, thanks for the post. I would agree with what you’ve said that flash fiction “teaches you to cut out the filler stuff… plot and character development.” When I had started with it, I found it hard but reading from around helped me a lot. In the end I’ve now started enjoying them. They are fun! 🙂

  2. I find flash fiction has helped me cut out wasted words. My bugbears are “very”, “actually” and “that”. They don’t add anything to a story so out they come! I now look for these in my other writing too. Writing flash fiction can really hone your editing skills.

    1. Yes, I agree. I use “that” all the time. I told myself the next time I edit I’ll give myself a dime for every “that” I take out and see how much coffee I can buy myself, lol.

  3. Just read your bio and found out that you are from MA like me lol.
    I was thinking about Flash Fiction last week and I’ll that your suggestion, read a bit of Flash Fiction before starting to write one.

      1. Lol, maybe I give off a certain accent in my writing. I’ve always wondered how many times I walk into places and am surrounded by other bloggers that I don’t know about.

      2. Maybe the style of your writing , very clean and well made. Blogging is fun! I just started but I’m loving it, even wrote a poem and posted just now, my first ever piece of poetry lol.

      3. Thank you. 🙂
        I love blogging. I didn’t imagine myself sticking with it for so long, but it’s really great. You meet so many new people and learn so much. Good for you for posting your first ever poem. The first one always takes a lot of guts, lol.

      4. It did, to be honest, I’m still a bit shy to have it in the open like that, but it’s great and I hope to write more. If you have a chance, check it out, it will show my lack of experience but it’s ok hahaha.

  4. Hi, I read your post on flash fiction and agree that it hones your writing to keep the story concise. I’ve started giving it a go as came across a website whose author has some short story challenges (up to 200 words). Problem is once you start you want to keep going lol.

  5. Hi Rachel. I write poetry and short fiction and have mentored others as a teacher and participant in local writing groups, though not as up to date at the internet writing scene. But I am willing to learn. I have just started firewordsblog.wordpress.com which is a mix of poetry, prose commentary and short fiction. Flash fiction would be a very helpful method for a writer like me. I think it will keep me writing regularly. Your site is impressive.

    1. That sounds great! I’ve tried my hand at poetry though I need a lot of practice with it. I like it though. In a way, I feel more “free” with it than writing short fiction.
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. 🙂

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