How to Write Flash Fiction Stories: 4 Approaches
In short, flash fiction has all the elements of longer stories, but with less “fluff.” So, the challenge of writing flash fiction lies in crafting a complete story in under 1,000 words. How should you approach the writing of flash fiction? Consider the following four approaches.
1. Ruthless Editing
Some writers might try starting their flash fiction story as a normal story, then cutting the words down. This is a common approach to writing flash fiction, especially if your story isn’t far away from the 1,000 word mark. If you think you can cut a story down after writing it, then kill your darlings—and have fun with it!
Flash fiction stories require bones before you can put meat on them, so start with the story’s plot. With a plot-first approach, you start by writing only the details of the story, without any description or figurative language. Then, once the plot is written, you fill it with details until you hit the 1,000 word mark. This “fill in the blanks” approach allows you to keep the story to its most important details while still being complete.
3. Start with Poetry
Writing fiction from poetry? It’s more likely than you think. Many literary critics consider flash fiction stories to border the lines between prose and poetry, since it uses many poetic devices to convey plot. If you’re a poet as well as a fiction writer, consider writing your story’s plot in verse, then expanding that verse into a prose-poem or prose.
4. End with a Bang
For a flash fiction story to feel “complete,” it needs to “end with a bang.” The final line(s) of the story must leave the reader thinking long after the story ends.
The end of a flash fiction story must surprise the reader in some way. Flash fiction often offers a resolution to the story that inverts themes, uncovers ironies, or offers unexpected dualities.
Could YOU write a flash fiction story in, say, an afternoon? THIS afternoon? Why not try it? Take a notebook and pencil. Go outside to some shady spot. Scratch your head, put you pencil to paper and….write.
From an article on WRITERS.COM – How to Write Flash Fiction Stories – by
Photo by me.