Saturday, April 28, 2018

Flash Fiction

Recently, I have been interested in writing Flash Fiction, often referred to a short, short fiction. It usually is less than 1,000 words. Because of the limited number of words allowed in this type of writing, it is important to begin at a moment of conflict or a major turning point that plunges the reader immediately into the story.
Characters are often shown in one brief moment of time, perhaps in the midst of some physical activity or making a decision. 

This concise type of writing allows for no excess words. Writers must cut everything that isn’t essential to the story. However it is still important to have good flow and rhythm, as well as smooth, logical transitions.
Flash fiction still tells a story with a beginning, middle and end. There is usually a sense of story arc, even if only implied. Flash fiction is written in all genres. Often it ends with a twist or surprise. Endings should have a strong impact, then stop, no tying up loose ends.

Because lengths can vary, it is important to check guidelines before writing and submitting to publications or contests. Writers may enjoy the challenge of squeezing a lot of meaning in a small number of words.
Barbara Westwood Diehl, founder and Senior Editor of The Baltimore Review, defined flash fiction as “Intensity jammed into a small space.”

She mentioned the above suggestions and many more at a recent meeting of the Carroll County Chapter of the Maryland Writer’s Association, (MWA). The Chapter is sponsoring a Flash Fiction Contest for residents of Carroll County, offering a $100 prize and a year’s membership In MWA for the best entry this year.
For more details, contact Chapter President at or respond to this blog.


  1. When is the deadline for the contest?

  2. Check out my Facebook Page for more details.

  3. Flash Fiction is definitely difficult, but fantastically fun! What a challenge! Nice article too, Jo...

  4. That is true. I think several writers have been credited with saving something like - I would have written less, but I didn't have the time.
    Writing short is hard, but I agree with you. It is fun to try to say so much in few words.


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