The Blogging from A-Z Challenge continues today. Throughout April I’m posting about my life as a writer, including my inspirations, frustrations and celebration.
For the letter F, I’m going to talk about flash fiction—micro stories that are usually no more than 1000 words long, and sometimes even a single sentence!
I got into flash fiction relatively recently. It seems to be a popular form of writing at the moment and I’ve seen lots of flash fiction challenges around the blogosphere, including the WEP Challenge, Six Sentence Story and Fiction in 50.
Last year, I shared a short piece called No People, No War. A couple of months ago, I started following Write…Edit…Publish and I joined in with their February challenge with a piece called Baby Steps. I’ve been having lots of fun experimenting with this form and learning more about it.
Flash fiction is fun to read because it’s brevity gives it more impact. You don’t have to skim through pages of description or backstory— it gets to the point almost immediately and can be extremely hard-hitting emotionally. Here’s a perfect example I saw a few days ago on Twitter by @250Fiction:
It’s simple, it’s not filled with elaborate description of the character’s feelings, yet it gives you all the feels does’t it? Maybe it’s because we fill in the gaps with our own experience.
What makes flash fiction so interesting to read is also what makes it super difficult to write. You have a limited number of words to tell the story, so you have to be concise. As a self-confessed waffler, that’s definitely something I struggle with! When I’m writing a short story I usually have to cut half the words to get it under the limit. But as with all things, practice makes perfect. I have a feeling that writing more flash fiction will benefit my approach to short story and novel writing too.
Six Word Stories
The six word story is a common prompt. I love reading the creative responses. Here are some examples I came up with:
When she started singing, nobody laughed.
The pilot’s wife knew, right then.
They named their second baby Hope.
Mourners came only for the buffet.
Dad said “she”. He accepted me!
Her sister’s kidney wasn’t a match.
He stood without crutches! I wept.
Before you go…
Do you enjoy writing or reading flash fiction? Can you come up with your own six word story?