This is a reprint of my article previously published in MJ Magazine—a journal written by authors for authors. Learn how to tighten your flash fiction with these tips.
Flash fiction is a concise literary creation. Most journals classify it as a story of 1000 words or less. Other types of flash include:
Micro fiction—an even shorter form. Length varies from market to market.
Drabble—a 100-word story.
You will find other forms. However, one guideline is clear: Good flash has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Flash fiction, although short, takes longer than other forms of fiction to create. An author must choose strong words that convey maximal impact. As Mark Twain said, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
Suggested Creation Process
Step One: Get the Words Out
It doesn’t have to be good. Try to start somewhere in the middle. Provide backstory only as needed. Don’t fret about repetition or excessive descriptions.
Keep your paragraphs short. Huge blocks of text are difficult for readers to follow, especially on electronic devices.
At this point, run-on sentences, comma splices, and clichés are unimportant. You need to gush those ideas out while they’re fresh. Record the words, and worry about editing later.
Step Two: Edit Continue reading