Flash Fiction: What is it and why is it cool?

Flash fiction. This is something you may be hearing about more and more – particularly if you have found a site like the one you are reading right now.

But what is it?

Essentially it’s a short story. Ok, a short, short story. The exact maximum word count for a flash story seems to vary. Generally, however, it is a story under 1,000 words. And most flash fiction is in the 600-800 word range. 

And yes, it is a story. Good flash fiction has all the elements of story telling: a sympathetic protagonist, a theme, captivating action, conflict, which preferably results in a changed main character or – even better – a changed, more enlightened reader. (om)

Is this possible in less than 1,000 words?

Yes. (That’s the short answer.)

In flash fiction, brevity rules. Compared to the novel, novella and regular short story, flash is like an espresso; a shot of whiskey; a quick bite-sized snack.

A story can be condensed to its bare bones essence, and still emit powerful feelings in the reader.

Few words, great impact, that’s flash.

So why is it cool?

In today’s day and age, let’s face it, we are inundated with an oversupply of information, and yet so often feel undersupplied with time.

We all have the endless emails, texts, and the familiar ‘bing’ of the Smartphone calling us to be ‘on’.

To take ten minutes and actually be able to read for pleasure; a story you know you will be able to finish in one sitting; a story that can take you away from your daily routine; a story that might give you a new perspective, a smile, a renewed sense of happiness: that, to me, is cool and satisfying.

We need the narrative. I don’t know why. But we do. Throughout our history, we have valued the storyteller, to pass on our learning’s; to feel connected; to be human, I guess.

Flash fiction feeds this need, and does so in a flash of time.

I encourage you to check out more about flash fiction. There are many good flash sites online, where you can both read good flash, and try your hand at submitting your own.

Check out:

365tomorrows.com 

everydayfiction.com   

dailysciencefiction.com   

For a comprehensive listing of sites accepting flash fiction, check out:

duotrope.com

And, I would be remiss to not shamelessy mention my own eBook of flash fiction!! :)Check out Flash Bites: a few short, short stories. Only 99c and available at most eBookstores including:

Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Indigo Kobo, Sony eReader and iTunes

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4 comments

  1. Thanks for the shout out and the link. We’re obviously big proponents of the Flash Fiction format, so it’s always nice to see others take up the charge.

  2. Thanks for the comment 365tomorrows! You published my very first flash piece in May of this year (‘Freedom!’)! Forever grateful for the inspiration, motivation and start into the world of flash you and your great site gave me!! Happy to ‘pay it forward’!!:)

  3. […] I write a story, whether it’s flash fiction or not, I’ve learned to sit on it for a while. I put the story away, sight unseen for a week, […]

  4. […] always getting to know more indie authors, particularly fellow flash fiction writers. But I also like to read some of the big names […]

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