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What is flash fiction?

Updated: Sep 3, 2023

What is flash fiction?

Flash fiction (aka short shorts, micro-stories, napkin fiction, nano tales or postcard fiction) is a very short story. There is a whole world of flash fiction, with a huge writer community. The official word count of flash fiction differs, but generally it's a story up to 1,500 words. Telling a full story in such a short amount of words is challenging but can be extremely effective. A flash fiction must have a beginning, middle and end. There are some great flash fictions out there, and I recommend having a look at them. It's great to see what different writers have done with their work. Flash fiction is also great for people who don't have the time to read longer to stories. For sale: baby shoes, never worn. -Ernest Hemingway This is one of the most famous flash fictions stories, made up of only six words, but tells a whole story. Flash fiction is a great way to experiment with writing and can give you some fantastic results. It is very popular and there are so many competitions out there where you can build your reputation as a writer and win money. Tips for Writing flash fiction: Titles are very important. As you only have a limited amount of words, use your title. The title of your piece can give your reader information about your story before they even start reading it. Description is necessary, but can use up a lot of your precious word count. Therefore, it's important that you're keeping it to a minimum and using your words to tell the story. Creativity is essential when it comes to writing flash fiction. You have a short amount of time to wow your reader, so think about how you want to present your writing, how you want to tell your story. Think about perspective, structure, who is telling the story? Not sure which perspective to write in? Be Brutal with your work. You don't have the space for any unnecessary information, so if it's not needed, take it out of your work. Show your story. Let the reader work with you. Don't tell them everything, you can say a lot from just showing what's happening. Research other work. It's a good idea to read other writer's work. This can help to inspire your writing and give you some ideas on how to approach your story. Experiment with some writing prompts. Flash fiction can seem daunting but it's all about experimenting and finding a way that works for you. It's a balance, and your first draft will be very different to your final draft. So if you're wanting to try flash fiction, just start and get it down on paper and go from there.


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