This month at StoryADay, I’m focusing on Flash Fiction. Be sure to check in regularly and follow me on Twitter.
A novel invites the reader to explore an entire house, down to snooping in the closets; a short story requires that the reader stand outside of an open window to observe what’s going on in a single room; and a short short requires the reader to kneel outside of a locked room and peer in through the keyhole.
Bruce Holland Rogers
(2013-02-25). The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction
Let’s take Bruce at his word.
Imagine you’re looking through a big, old-fashioned keyhole, into a room. Write a story of fewer than 1000 words, about what you can see
- Think of this as a way of reducing the events of whatever is going on in the room to the moment.
- Use powerful imagery and strong verbs to narrate the story and make it ‘flash’.
- In a story this short you probably only have room for one or two characters.
- A story this short can only focus on one moment/event.
- Use dialogue to convey information. Hint at backstory with tone and word choice.
- When you have finished your first draft (and therefore know what the story is about) go back and work on your opening lines
Leave a comment below, letting us know how you got on with this prompt, or what ideas it sparked for you.