View Full Version : Getting started in Flash Fiction

11-16-2008, 11:53 PM
I've never written flash fiction before but there's a competition at my University that I'd like to enter -- does anyone have any recommended reading that would help me get a grasp on what Flash Fiction is all about?



11-17-2008, 05:41 AM
Does the university give a word count for the contest? Though flash is often 1000 words or less, some places set a lower limit.

Structure it like a normal story, with a beginning, middle and end. It should have a plot. The only difference with flash is economy of words... you can't waste any.

The best way to get a handle on it is to read some. You might want to check out the 'polished and ready (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=151)' subforum of this one, for stories being critiqued (password is flashed). There are also a few examples in the March FAD entries (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98307) thread (sticked in this forum), and in flash fiction magazines (there's an index of magazines (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59234) in the discussion sub-forum... a fair number of those listed under 'f' are flash fiction only, because flash fiction magazines like to start their name with flash).

11-17-2008, 06:04 AM
Not sure what you consider 'flash'. In the horror section a few months ago we had a ton of 100 word flash stories, title included, and most of them were great.

It means you choose your words with great care and I'm not certain that a book could really tell you how to do one. Just jump in and give it a try. They are fun and you will be amazed at how well you can show a whole story with so few words. I love them and they are a blast to do.

Good luck.

Laurie Champion
11-17-2008, 10:04 AM
Get a copy of SUDDEN FICTION. It's "flash fiction" and has some fine examples.

Good luck with it,


Bill Ward
11-17-2008, 10:28 AM
For a thriving flash fiction market, with lots of stories and a community forum that can be of further help, have a look at Every Day Fiction (http://www.everydayfiction.com/)