As a writer you must have had brilliant ideas that you were not able to convert to a full-fledged story. But after all, who defines what the right length of a story should be. You can always go ahead and create Flash Fiction from such ideas. Flash Fiction is a concise style of storytelling, where the length could be anywhere between 300 to 2000 words.
You can choose any category like crime, fantasy, horror, science fiction, urban fantasy, etc. It is something like modern painting where you put multiple ideas in a single canvas. Here are some tips for you to write good Flash Fiction.
1. Start Writing
Do not make a plan to create elaborate plots. Just start writing. Keep counting the words and removing unnecessary word and sentences as you go along. It will be useful to have good writing and editing techniques to create short and impactful sentences.
2. Be Crisp
The Beginning or end of the story should be short; not too many paragraphs. Ideal would be three to four. Too many characters and detailed explanations can be confusing and boring to readers. So keep your story line crisp. However, the beginning, middle and end of the story should be clearly visible to give a shape to the whole thing.
Reading poetry is a good way to learn how to compress many words and sentences into a single word. So take out time to read lots of poems and Flash Fiction by other writers.
3. Concentrate on Important Moments
Build your story around important moments in characters’ life. There is no room to create elaborate sympathetic characters and maintain a streamlined flow of story. Long plotting can be dangerous for your Flash Fiction as people don’t have much time and are looking for quick stories to read. Remember to state your message, if you have one; no one has the time to dwell on the story and decipher on their own.
4. Use Appropriate Words
Use internationally understood and accepted words that convey the accurate meaning. It is possible to do so by choosing your vocabulary with care. Some examples are “Calla lily” instead of “flower”, “58 Edsel” instead of “old car”, etc. Use precise words and phrases to describe the incidents in your story so that readers can identify with them. Two or three words like “a war-torn street” will create better impact than 100 words. Try to avoid heavy use of modifiers like “very”, “actually”, “quite”, etc. They don’t add much value to what you are saying.
5. Surprise Your Readers
Do surprise the readers once in a while by doing the unexpected. For example, while moving along an anticipated set-up, overturn the reader’s expectations with a punch line. Use a twist as you approach the climax, as it enables you to keep the reader hooked.
Flash fiction is a combination of one part story, one part poem. Plot does not matter more than mood or finer details. The best thing about Flash Fiction for both reader and writer is hidden communication through words, where the writer tells all the details of story without using many words, sentences and paragraphs.
The world is full of volumes of Flash Fiction but it can do with some of your variety as well. So pick up your pen or switch on your laptop and start writing …
Image credit: Editor B on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Shweta-Pic.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Shweta Mishra is a freelance writer with over 13 years experience. You can visit her website http://aainfotech.in to get to know more about her writing.[/author_info] [/author]