How do you tell a story in only 300 words? Ask a flash fiction writer.
Flash fiction is like short fiction. Only shorter. These writers are the masters of brevity. The lords of implication. The gods of potent story telling. They’d have to be. Because, with only 300-1000 words to tell your tale, you have no words to waste.
Have you read Hemingway’s flash fiction story?
For sale: baby shoes, never worn.
While its link to Hemingway isn’t a sure thing, this six-word tale (six words!) gets passed around with reverence at all the flash fiction cocktail parties (probably).
Don’t let the tiny word count scare you. There’s a market for stories at 1000-3000 words too. Here are 5 compelling reasons to try your hand.
5 Smart Reasons to Write Flash Fiction, No Matter Your Usual Genre
#1: The Flash Fiction Market is Huge = Better Chance of Publication
With these bite-sized tales, it’s hard to eat (or read) just one. So uncounted publications keep their submission doors open to flash fiction writers. And it’s a great way for newbies to start their publishing history. Here’s just one list of flash fiction publications to get you started.
#2: You’ll Write Better in Half the Time
Write shorter stories, and you’ll finish more stories. That experience makes you a better writer.
A novel can take years to write. Which means it’ll be years before that novelist improves her craft. With flash fiction, though, you get the same experience that novelists gets in half the time. Plot? Character development? Setting? Check, check, and check. At warp speed.
#3: There’s No Time to Get Bored
You know that awful middle part of stories where writers get stuck? That place where you don’t know where you’re going, and your story gets…boring? Yeah, that doesn’t happen in flash fiction. Because the sagging middle is only a few sentences long, if you have a middle at all. It’s hard to get lost in a small back yard when you can still see your porch. It’s the same with flash fiction.
#4: You’ll Master the Art of Brevity
Flash fiction is all about brevity. That’s because you still have to tell a full story, only in fewer words. But everything is better with brevity, even novels. Brevity wipes out reader boredom and makes your writing zing. No wonder editors love it.
After you master the art of brevity through flash fiction, you’ll write better in any genre.
#5: Risks Are Less Risky = More Room for Imagination
Novels are a huge time investment. It’s worth it. But sometimes it makes us shy away from risks. Who wants to follow the muse down the wrong path only to rewrite half the book? That worry makes it harder to follow our imaginations. But with flash fiction, that doesn’t happen. If you take a chance and it goes wrong, it doesn’t matter. You only spent a day or two on it anyway. And who knows what awesome avenue you might discover?
Need Some Ideas For Your Flash Fiction Tale?
Have you written flash fiction? Share your tips and experience in the comments.