Thursday, 25 October 2012

Flash Fiction - Thought for Thursday

Ever thought about writing Flash Fiction?

Flash fiction, short-short stories, minute tales, or whatever you want to call them, they are all mini chopped down stories. As a writer of such, it means you don't use any words that don't speak the story. Easier said than done.

Much must be revealed in a very short piece of prose so there is no time to set up a scene, or build a character, and don't have too many of them either. Your character should have one compelling need only. Focus is everything when you have so few words to tell the story.

Take us straight to the heart of whats happening, and show us the conflict straight away, don't fret about the reader, they'll adjust and work it out.

Make best use of dialogue. Show, don't tell. Every word needs to justify its place.

With such an economy of words you need to focus on one scene, choose it well. Use shorter choppier sentences, they'll raise the tempo, and keep the story moving forward.

There are lots of competitions calling for flash fiction. Word counts vary, and as a rough guide, up to 100 words is called micro fiction, and 100 to 1000 is known as flash fiction, although I class 1000 words as a short story myself! Here are a few competitions to whet your appetite.

Book Week Scotland 2012 Flash Fiction Competition

Cazart Flash Fiction Competition

Flash 500

If you haven't tried your hand at writing Flash Fiction before, then why not give it a whirl, its quite addictive once you get the hang of it, I love it! And you might too.

Now here's a different type of Flash for you.


  1. Hello Maria, is that one of your photos?

    Just a reminder the flash fiction competition at is still open until Thursday 8th November, theme 'Twin' max 500 words, with free entry.

    We also have another free entry comp running with a max of 2,000 words. Entry categories are for a) adult and b) 12-16 years, cash prizes for winners plus a donation of £40 is being made to a charity in Notts/Derbys areas.

    Best wishes,
    Debbie W

    1. Hi Maria thanks for following my blog. Interesting article re 'Flash F.'Only recently discovered this genre and was a little sceptical initially but now see the value of it as it's complete like a poem. I am someone who has trouble reining in my writing so the exercises we have done have been useful and a new avenue for me to try !I Enjoy reading yr blog posts.


    2. Hi Debbie,

      I'll give your competition a plug on the blog tomorrow. Nice to see you here.

    3. Thanks Maria. That's kind of you.

      I do pop over to your blog quite a bit, but I don't say much, sorry. I like to look at your photos.

      Really wish I could take great photos but I've never been able to. There are some fab close ups of wild life on a Long Eaton blog (don't have the address to hand right now) and it always pleases me to see little creatures (and bigger ones) close up. As long as it's not a photo of a spider that is.

    4. Sorry, forgot to sign my name

      Debbie W

      I really must get myself an account soon so I don't have to sign in as Anon.

    5. Hello Debbie,

      Yes, get a blog, its tremendous fun!

  2. Hello Helen,

    Yes, flash fiction is a wonderful exercise in the economy of words, and really makes you work as a writer. Not always as easy as people think...

    Thank you for commenting.


I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!

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