Some reminders before you put pen to paper:
1. Flash fiction shouldn’t be more than 1,000 words.
2. It is NOT easy to get a whole short story into so few words. It requires a lot of PLANNING and EDITING.
3. Writing Flash Fiction often takes MORE time than longer works.
4. Focus on the small moments that shape bigger ideas, rather than on the big ideas.
5. A good idea is to base Flash Fiction stories on things readers already know, such as myths and fairy tales, for example.
6. To get your word count down, leave out dialogue attributions and in-depth descriptions.
7. Focus on one central idea.
Next week, we’ll finish off the series on Flash Fiction by sharing where you can go to read some good examples of Flash Fiction.
My last blog post talked about Flash Fiction and got us ready to address the “How-To-Write-It.”
So, here we go with what I’ve learned about writing Flash Fiction from a real-life pro, David Gaffney: 1. Start your story in the middle of the action. You don’t have time in this very short form to set scenes and build character.
2. Don’t use too many characters. Excess names and places eat up your word count.
3. Make sure the ending isn’t at the end. (What?) Give almost all of the information in the first few lines, using the next few paragraphs to take the reader on a journey beneath the surface. This will help you avoid stories with punch-line- type endings.
4. Make your title short and sweet. Give it punch.
5. Make your last line ring. Remember, it’s not the ending. – but it should make the reader continue to think about the ideas in the story and speculate about what it all meant.
6. Write long, then whittle your story down to the essentials. When you edit, don’t decrease the impact of the story. Choose your words carefully and sparingly. Make each one count!
Next week’s blog post: Flash Fiction Tips.