Flash Fiction is a short story. A VERY short story, sitting somewhere between only 100 and 1,000 words in length. Micro Fiction stories are shorter still, clocking in at generally 50 words or less. Now that’s a short-short story!
The important thing to remember is that despite the length, Flash Fiction still needs to be a complete story with characters, themes and an interesting plot.
So far, it’s still pretty much the same as a full-length story, right? But one big difference with Flash Fiction is often the structure. Usually, this type of writing starts smack-bang in the middle of a story. Not at the start. This helps cut down the number of words usually needed to explain the set-up as the reader has been thrown right into the action. Clever, huh?
Flash Fiction is a great way to practise your writing skills and more importantly, your editing skills. You need to make sure each word really earns its place in the story. If it doesn’t help build character, plot or get the story moving, get it out of there!
If you want to try your hand at writing Flash Fiction, here are five handy tips to keep in mind:
1. Make your title do the heavy lifting. When you have a limited word count to stick to, a good title can help reader’s connect-the-dots.
2. Craft your story around one moment. Rather than needing to introduce lots of different settings, the best Flash Fiction is often set in a single scene or interaction.
3. Similar to the above, try not to have too many characters in a Flash Fiction story. The fewer, the better.
4. Keep it surprising. A short story, doesn’t mean a boring story. See if you can end with a twist that will surprise your readers.
5. Make every word count. Use strong imagery to help your readers visualise your story.
Why not try your hand at writing a Flash Fiction story and entering it into our SERIOUSLY Short Story Challenge starting on Monday 11 April? You just need to write and submit a story 100 words or less in length featuring at LEAST three of the challenge words we release on Monday. The winning story will receive a $100 Ikea voucher – and there will be spot prizes along the way too!
All entries must be submitted via Instagram or Facebook. Simply ask your parent or guardian to take a pic of your story and tag @scribblersfest. Find out more here.