This is a very quick introduction to and overview of Flash Fiction. What is it? How do you go about writing it? And what can you do with it?
Ok, first things first. What is it? Well our old friend Google describes it as an umbrella term used to describe any fictional work of extreme brevity, including the Six-Word Story, 140-character stories, also known as twitterature, the dribble (50 words), the drabble (100 words), and sudden fiction (750 words). Must admit some of those terms are pretty new to me, but I count anything of 750 words or less as Flash Fiction.
People new to writing Flash usually make the mistake of thinking it doesn’t need to be a complete story – how could it be? It’s so short! You will be surprised. The best example of this is Hemingway’s six word tear-jerker: For sale: baby shoes, never worn. It can and should have a beginning, middle and end, but you need to dispense with any serious pre-amble. It’s a lot like writing any scene – get in late and leave early. Start off by just getting the story down – don’t worry if the first draft is long. You need something to edit and there’s no better feeling than taking a 500 word story and reducing it to a tightly honed 150.
There’s loads of places online to submit your micro-masterpieces, with probably the most famous being Flash 500, but new ones spring up all the time so just give it a Google and get Flashing. Not like that – please, take your minds from the gutter!
There’s not enough time here to cover all the ins and outs of writing Flash and I’m sure we will touch on it again in a future episode, but for now that’s your Two Minute Tip. Tweet us your ideas for more TMTs and check out the longer weekly podcast for more writing chat, inspiration and author interviews. Happy Writing!
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