Today, we challenge you to try your literary hand at flash fiction.
Flash fiction. You might know it by one of many other names, including sudden fiction, micro fiction, micro-story, short short, postcard fiction, or short short story. No matter which name you know it by, flash fiction is the ultimate challenge to writers everywhere — to tell a story in very few words.
While there’s no widely accepted length, flash fiction can include six-word stories on up to stories of about 300 words. We know it’s easy to write long. It’s much more difficult to kill your darlings — to write short — hence, the challenge. We hope you’re up for it!
Not sure how to get going? Here are a few ideas to nudge your muse.
- Write at least one piece of flash fiction. Each piece of flash fiction must be 300 words or less.
- Write a six-word story. Need some inspiration? Check out some of the responses to the six-word story Daily Prompt.
- Feeling extra sassy? Write at least one six-word story and one piece of flash fiction.
- Not feeling into fiction? Write a flash fiction biography/autobiography.
- Write a real-time flash fiction piece: the entire action takes place in the time it takes us to read it.
I have no idea where to start! HELP!
On my 21st birthday, my father revealed two facts about himself: that he was colorblind and that before I was born, he’d served four years for armed robbery. I suspect the colorblind disclosure was a test of my maturity, and if I’m right, I must have barely passed. After he told me, I became petulant and said, “I just think it’s really weird you hid that for my whole life.”
Still stuck? Here’s some excellent advice from David Gaffney including six specific tips on how to write flash fiction. Our favorite from this list: 6. Write long, then go short:
Create a lump of stone from which you chip out your story sculpture. Stories can live much more cheaply than you realise, with little deterioration in lifestyle. But do beware: writing micro-fiction is for some like holidaying in a caravan – the grill may well fold out to become an extra bed, but you wouldn’t sleep in a fold-out grill for the rest of your life.
Now, get thee to your notebook and/or screen and start sculpting! We can’t wait to read what you write.