6 Important Things About Flash Fiction

6 Important Things About Flash Fiction


In this post, we look at six important things about flash fiction and ask if you can write it for 30 consecutive days.

Because, we’re going to try.

What Is Flash Fiction?

Micro fiction | Flash Fiction | Very Short Stories | Sudden Fiction |Postcard Fiction

If you’ve searched online to figure out exactly what flash fiction is, then you will certainly have found many contradictory answers. As always with creative work, there is a lot of room for interpretation. If we want to be romantic, we can say that flash fiction is the essence of a story; it is what the writer distils to create a tiny, powerful tale. But I like my definitions a bit more concrete than that. Obviously, flash is short, but so is a short story.

So, What’s The Difference?

Well, that is where the word count comes in. For the purpose of this class and this challenge we will use 1000 words as our cut off for flash. Some sites cite 1500 as the maximum, but I consider anything over 1000 words a short story. Anything below that is flash.

6 Important Things About Flash Fiction

1. Every Word Counts

Ok, so now we know that anything under 1000 words is considered flash fiction, but we can break it down even more. Consider these names and numbers:

  1. Flash fiction: 1000 words maximum.
  2. Sudden fiction: 750 words maximum.
  3. Drabble or micro-fiction: 100 words.
  4. Dribble or mini-saga: 50 words maximum.
  5. Six-word story: six words exactly.

There are also 6- or 12-word memoirs, 6-word horror stories, and Twitterature that must fit in a tweet. The options are endless, the themes and genres are varied, but this is where you stick to the required word count.

2. Flash Fiction Is Short

Flash fiction must – above all things – be short; but short does not mean incomplete. We still want the whole story. A description of a character or a setting is not a story. It needs a moment of change.

 3. Flash Fiction Is Complete

Complete and short may seem contradictory. Even though it is not necessarily written, there needs to be a sense of events that came before and after the story. The reader is given a snippet but we still know – or can imagine – what happened.

 4. Flash Fiction Is Surprising

Do you have a twist in the tale? The best flash fiction stories often do. Is there a surprise you can spring on the reader? Make them think one thing is happening, but then surprise them with something else.

 5. Flash Fiction Is Difficult To Write, But Easy To Read

Have you heard the saying ‘easy reading is hard writing’? Well, that describes flash perfectly. It’s a breeze to read, but do not underestimate the word count. It is deceptive. Flash fiction is not easy. We want all the elements of the story, but at the reduced word count.

6. It’s Fun

Flash Fiction offers you the thrill of a new idea without any of the pressure of long novel. It is so much fun to write. The limits of the genre force you to think of new and better ways to convey your thoughts.

Can You Write Flash Fiction For 30 Consecutive Days?

Join Me For A FREE CLASS Before The Challenge Starts.

Would you like to join me for a free Flash Fiction Class to learn more about the challenge, theory and the wonder of Flash Fiction?

If so, please register to join the free class.

There are two optional times:

REGISTER: Wednesday, 29 September 2021 at 11 AM (GMT+02:00)
REGISTER: Wednesday, 29 September 2021 at 9 PM (GMT+02:00)

Use this Time Zone Calculator.

PLEASE NOTE:

  1. There’ll be a limited number of participants in the class.
  2. The recording will be available for 24 hours after the class.
  3. If you decide to join the challenge, the recordings will be available for the duration of the challenge, which starts 1st October 2021 and ends 31st October 201.
  4. The free class will include an explanation of the challenge and some encouragement to join. The challenge is not free. If the thought of an offer-to-purchase does not appeal to you, it may be in your best interest to skip the class.

You can read more about the 30 Days of Flash Fiction Challenge.

Regards
Mia

Mia Botha by Mia Botha

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Top Tip: Find out more about our workbooks and online courses in our shop.

This article has 3 comments

  1. Rathin Bhattacharjee

    Dear Mia,
    Thanks for this informative piece. I started writing Flash Fiction some 5 years ago. I participated in a number of contests and came to the conclusion that Prizes and Rewards are not for me.
    I shall be much obliged if you can name some online magazines that accept contributions from little known authors like me and even pay for the stories and flash fiction. That will be a great favour.
    I wish your 30-day-challenge all success.
    Stay blessed.

    • Mia Botha

      Hello Rathin, I would turn to Google to see which magazines work for you. It depends on what you write and where you are based. Best of luck. Mia

  2. Bettie Coetzee

    I should like to participate in future communications on flash fiction.
    Thank you in mean time for tips.
    Bettie

Comments are now closed.