Now, This week, I'll be covering the basics of flash fiction. It is the shortest, and most powerful, kind of poetry. It is used to leave the reader with an image that tells a whole story. Most flash fiction pieces are interpreted, so the reader creates his or her own story. The reader starts with the flash fiction piece and develops the story from there in his or her own interpretation.
For example, the most memorable flash fiction piece is from a highly esteemed writer, Earnest Hemingway: “For sale: baby shoes never worn.” Through this simple six-word story, the reader can imply the rest of what happens in the story. Readers make their own inferences based on the little information given to them. Obviously, a baby was lost. How? Why? What happened? The readers have been given the power to answer the questions for themselves.
Engaging the readers is a primary tactic for an effective flash fiction piece, which means hooking them right off the bat. In flash fiction, more words bring less impact. Each word holds great weight for the rest of the work. Competitors, as well as judges, look very closely at every word, so each one counts! Countless online venues, such as Flash500 (fee required) or Bath Flash Fiction, hold competitions for writers interested in such influential writing. Just remember: look at guidelines on any competition you enter. Some require a fee to enter, which isn’t always a scam, but writers must be wary of their submissions, for there are sharks who will steal your ideas and make you pay for it.
Once getting the hang of flash fiction, it becomes quite addicting. There is no better way to hone skills on word choice and the power or images each word represents than through a few flash fiction exercises. Is that word conveying the image you seek? You, and your reader, choose.
Now, let's get creative! Comment with your flash fiction example now!
FROM THE WRITER
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