This month at StoryADay we’re all about Flash Fiction!
Flash fiction is loosely defined as being between 250 and 1200 words long, but it is so much more than that.
The best description of Flash Fiction I’ve ever seen goes like this:
“You are outside in the dark, just a star or two. Somewhere, there are the sounds of a party on the other side of the street. The beat of a disco. Heightened talk, shouts, laughter. It is easy to turn away, leave that behind. Go back into the house. Then—a firework. A single crack splits the air, a sizzle, a pause. A burst of stars, shimmering, falling in a fountain against the sky. The stars spiral and fall, painting the sky with trails of light. Then it is over. You blink. But no—it is not over. Imprinted on your retina is a fountain of fire. That is what a good flash ought to do. It should catch you as you turn away, hold you, and when you’ve finished reading, it should echo and resonate.”
The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction
We’re going to take her at her word, today and write literally about something that flashes
Write a 250-1000 word story that features something that flashes, somewhere in the story
- Read Meteor by Josh McColough for an example of how you can write about something that flashes without making that the only thing that the story is about.
- Keep the story to a very few characters
- Remember that you are setting up one moment, so don’t give us too much backstory (read Meteor, above, to see how McColough shows us how the narrator’s relationship isn’t going well and why he’s primed to be impacted by the events of the evening)
- Try to mirror the external events with an internal flash of understanding (either in a character or your reader)
- Don’t worry about getting this right on a first draft. Just bear it in mind.
- Write your first draft quickly. Everything can be fixed in the edit…or thrown away. You’ll learn something in the writing of this story, even if the story doesn’t survive the process.
Come back and leave a comment, letting us know what you discovered as you wrote your flash fiction story
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