No, not the DC comics character. And NO, I’m not flashing anyone. Ever. Mostly, anyway.
Flash Fiction. Not just really short fiction either. Flash fiction IS its own genre.
I thought of the regular cliches when writing this: tell, don’t show; don’t get wordy; don’t get too descriptive; and, choose an effective title. And then…
Well hell, if you don’t understand those already from writing in general, then you’ll find no help here. Sorry, but not really. Actually, not even a little bit.
There’s a lot of useless information on the Internet. No-yeah, I know. It’s true. Write flash fiction in just 25 steps. Read now: 13 steps to writing flash fiction. How to write flash fiction in ALL the steps.
Damn, I’ll just assume that each and every one of those regurgitated the points almost verbatim. And, you should assume it too. While it’s true, not much is original anymore (geez, thanks Internet), that doesn’t mean it can’t be helpful. And it doesn’t have to be outrageously long to be good advice.
So, Inkateers, here’s my flash blog on flash fiction.
Make The Title Earn Its Money: Don’t be afraid the create a title that tells more than, well, the title.
Start Sooner Than The Beginning: Huh? you ask. You read that right. You need to jump in. There’s no building a dramatic story. In fact, consider starting smack in the middle where there’s immediate conflict or action. No backstory, flash forwards, or prologue either.
Be Precise: To the point. Don’t get moored in a quagmire of details. Know when to end it. And, keep it short. Under 500 is a good rule of mind, although I’ve seen some under 1,000. I like under 500 because it challenges me as a writer. Makes me cut out any unnecessary bullshit.
Cut The Bullshit: Don’t allow morass to bring you down and ramble on. It’s flash fiction, not a novel.
Don’t Be Afraid To Have An Ambiguous Ending: Allow the reader to imagine more; paint a picture of the mind; or ask, what the fuck just happened. Also, see my last post on ambiguity in writing.
Last Sentence Holds The Meat: Make that motherfucker count. It needs to hold up its end of the story. Seriously. Needs to tie a lot together in just those few words. If you end it with, The End, you will be hunted and hurt.