View Full Version : New to flash fiction

08-01-2007, 06:08 AM
Any advice for someone trying a hand at this? I've done only nonfiction stuff and I have story ideas that I want to develop. But, since I'm new I figured I would start small. Though after reading some of the threads, I'm not sure that smaller (or shorter) will be much easier.
Anyway, any advice or website links would be great! :)

Soccer Mom
08-01-2007, 06:52 AM
The only advice I can give is to craft your flash like any other story. A beginning, middle and end. When you are dealing with such concise fiction, every word is important, so think carefully about your choices. :)

And enjoy it. It's satisfying to be able to take a story from idea to paper in a single sitting. Then the real fun begins, polishing and shining and twiddling with it.

:welcome: to flash!

08-01-2007, 07:51 AM

I love flash fiction! Look on Amazon or your library's card catalogue and search for flash fiction, short short stories, micro fiction, postcard fiction, and you'll be sure to find several collections of flash. I like flash that's 500 words or less.

Check the flash fiction index here on AW. Flashquake is a popular online site, and I've had good experiences with WOW! and Whim's place, both online as well.

The Southeast Review has an annual flash contest (already over this year), but they have only one winner and nine runners up. And it's a long time between submission and announcement.

The main thing is to read flash fiction. I discovered it several years ago and was hooked!

Good luck!

08-01-2007, 03:29 PM
I'll second what both Soccer Mom and birdfeeder said - and emphasize the read part of it, read lots, get a feel for what works and what doesn't. Also, just try writing it. Play about with different lengths, different styles, different POV's - find what works for you.


08-02-2007, 05:40 PM
The best advice I can give is to just sit down and write some. I'm more used to writing larger pieces but I actually find it quite liberating in someways to write small tight pieces.

When I was starting to write sudden fiction I would sit down with word limit in mind and then write to that limit. It can take sometime but just give it a go and see where it takes you.

Most importantly however don't forget to have fun. If it becomes a chore leave it for a little while and go and do something else then come back to it later on.

08-20-2007, 01:36 AM
Thanks all for your advice. I did start reading a collection of Nick Adams stories by Earnest Hemingway. Last Wednesday, I sent in a fictional story using my son, grandfather and myself as characters for a contest on intergenerational relationships. I really don't expect to win, though I'm hoping to place as an honorable mention. :)

Soccer Mom
08-20-2007, 04:05 AM
Good luck and let us know how it goes, Skyraven!

08-20-2007, 03:56 PM
Good luck on your contest submission, Skyraven. I'll echo what everyone else has said, to just sit down and write. It is satisfying to be able to take an idea and craft a story in one or two sittings. I usually "write" the story in my head before I even begin to put it to paper--that's one beauty of flash fiction--you can get pretty much the whole idea in one thought. Of course, it actually takes writing it to perfect the words and I find that it takes a couple of readings over a couple of days it to make the fine tweaks.

One more thing, submit it to the "Polished and Ready" forum. There are a lot of talented writers here who will critique your work and invariably provide positive feedback and support. I've learned so much here that I'm much more confident in my writing.


05-04-2011, 10:02 AM
I think the others who've commented before me have given great advice. I just want to mention how I learned to write flash fic. I learned in a competitive atmosphere where you were given a prompt and had 24 hours to write a story of less than 300 words. It had to have a sensible ending (e.g. not a open-ended scene), and it had to be clever. The prompts were generally three words, like: hat, chain, puzzle. You had to come up with something that used all three words. Every day, there'd be a winner. It was exciting and sure taught me how to plot and use words carefully!

Best wishes to you!