Friday, 4 June 2010

Flash Fiction Writing

I've recently been trying my hand at Flash Fiction. For the uninitiated flashes are usually 500 - 1,000 words of short, snappy fiction. I've found it an interesting way to learn how to edit more succinctly, to make sure every word counts, which is a must for short story writing. Flash fiction is the way to go when you have one of those stories that just jumps into your head and wants to get onto the page with a minimum of fuss.

If you like to write rambly short stories that meander to their conclusion in their own sweet time, then flash fiction is probably not for you. But if you want to give your readers a quick jolt, then you might have found your form. Some writers say writing short stories is good practise for writing novels, and I agree, but I'm aware others seem to think it takes a whole set of different skills. In the same way I think writing Flash Fiction will help my short story writing by helping me to cut to the chase. One can only hope...

Flash Fiction seems to have found its home online and I've been having a great time checking out as many stories as I can. Mark Budman, whose elegant quarterly Vestal Review publishes a half-dozen flashes of 500 words or under in each issue, says, "I love flash's intensity, its ability to say much in little space, and, let's face it, its instant gratification." Most editors are pretty open about the genre, so whatever you write, you can turn your hand to flash fiction.

OTHER NAMES: Sudden fiction, flash fiction, micro fiction, smoke-long fiction, postcard fiction--all are names for the short short fiction, seemingly designed especially for online reading.

Any search for 'flash fiction' brings up plenty of hits. I've collated a few good sites here, mostly ones that pay a small amount for your work.

The Green Tricycle

SmokeLong Quarterly

The Vestal Review

Per Contra 

Nick Daws' Writing Blog

Writing Forward (exercises for writing flash fiction.)

Let me know if you've found this helpful, and tell me of any successes in the flash fiction market.

I'm going to publish my first attempt tomorrow in the Beach Scene Blogfest. Hope you like it.


  1. Thank you. This is such a timely post for me as my knowledge of Flash Fiction was minimal, yet I was thinking that I should investigate it and maybe dip my toe in the water. Great!

  2. Considering how much effort was required to pare down my novels to a decent length, I'm sure flash fiction would be my ultimate challenge.

  3. Christine: Good luck as you try FF!

    L. Diane Wolfe: I also suffer from over writing...know what you mean...

  4. I've tried writing a few pieces of flash fiction and it's really helped my WIP's because it makes me think about making each word count.

    Are you going to submit your flash fiction pieces? If so, keep us updated!

  5. Aubrie: Yes I intend submitting my FF and will let you know if I have any joy. I've only written one piece so far which I'm posting online here, but I have another couple of shorts which might work better as FF.

  6. Nice! You should definitely try and post your Flash Fiction on more sites! If you are aiming to be an author, novelist or writer, then you should check out ReadWave: or you can email me @


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