What is Flash Fiction? (and who would like to collaborate on a project with me?)

in writing •  10 months ago

Whether you are an aspiring writer or seasoned author, there is a great exercise in storytelling which often results in amazing tales: Flash Fiction.

What is flash fiction?

There really is no exact definition or strict guideline for flash fiction because it depends on the market, the publisher, perhaps a website's call for submissions, and most assuredly, the writer's muse.

It is a self-contained story, which means it has a beginning, middle, and end, all wrapped up in a small package of tales with fewer than 3,000 all the way down to 99 words. Sometimes these are called short-short stories, microfiction, or postcard fiction.

Flash fiction is not limited to any genre; sci-fi and horror in particular have embraced the short format - just think about the campfire stories you grew up with - but romance, mythology, westerns, and biographical short-shorts are not excluded.


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Why writing flash fiction is good for you

Have you tried writing a complete story in 500 words or less? It's not a lot of space to develop characters and a plot with a decent resolution. It's an exercise to challenge your skills as a writer because you must cut away the long-winded descriptors and hook your readers immediately. This takes amazing self-control and hones your editing skills.

Show. Don't tell. Readers are voyeurs. Give them what they want! Let them eavesdrop on an intimate conversation; transport them into the scene you're creating. Better yet, give the reader just enough to let their imagination wander. This exercise will definitely help when you venture into more long form writing.

What's your hook? A flash fiction piece grabs its reader by the lapels and doesn't let go. It's a rollercoaster ride, not a cross country vacation.

As short-short as it gets

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Maybe I'll coin the term "pinprick story" for the #sixwordstory hashtag trend on Twitter. A notable mention is Ernest Hemingway's "For sale: baby shoes. Never worn." It is extreme, complete, and calls upon the imagination. Is it really a story or is it poetry? Let the academics worry about that because whatever the case, I call it challenging and fun.

One more thing to point out: If joining a professional writing association is a goal then selling your short form stories may be your admission ticket. Check out Horror Writers Association as an example.

Now that you know what flash fiction is, I encourage you to write your own.

Go on. You can do it!

Who would like to collaborate?

I'm setting a goal of putting together a compilation of flash fiction stories for publication on Smashwords by May, 2018. Since horror, thriller and suspense are a few of my favorite genres to read and write, this is the direction I'm moving in. I'd like to have a total of 50 to 100 stories.

I am NOT accepting story submissions at this time.

First, I would like to see if there is interest within the Steemit community writers.

If you are interested in the project or need more information, please shoot me an email or leave a comment below. I will post guidelines on Steemit and my website.


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So, I didn't actually read this. I tried, but I'm getting drunk for the first time since...I don't know if you saw. How did you get through? How do you get through. The 28th. He did wait until after Christmas I suppose.
Ech, sorry, bummer!! I'm trying to have some fun, loud ass music in my ears, strong wine in my hand.


email me meredith@mjloughran.com
We can swap numbers and pick a time to chat.


This broke my heart @dreemit. I am so sorry for your grief and loss. Your dad sounded like a good man and I am sure he'll leave a lot of wonderful memories and whatnot. I don't know what to say so I'll just say I cried for you.

Thanks friends gave me an excellent idea about flash fiction. I'm in a panic for you in my cooperation, I want to be with you in my favor.


Definitely @eliashossain. Keep writing and interacting and you will go far.

I'd be willing to have a go, it's been a long time since I sat down to write fiction (wow thinking on it was way back in our bubblews days.)


This is a project that I've been wanting to do for YEARS. I just think it will be a lot of fun with a few more people involved. That just might be the ticket to keeping me on track too. :) Oh, I really do hope you contribute! I'll be posting more details soon.

excellent, I have a lot of interest, I would like to know more about the project


Thanks @jesuke
I will be posting more about the project within the week.

The term of flash fiction sounds new to me but I do love #sixwordstory. I have some ideas for the story. I would love to know more about this project.


Hi @betterperson
The project is basically getting a group of Steemians to write their own flash fiction story using a common theme - much like the many writing challenges you will find on Steemit. The only difference is that I want to take those stories, potentially edit them, and publish a compilation book, sharing the profits of any sales and cross promoting each other. I will have more details posted soon.


Steemit story compilation? That's amazing. I'm looking forward to hearing the further details from you. Thank you for sharing.

Wow, this is something new to me and I learn all the times at Steemit. Fiction writing is not my forte since I am more of a motivational writer. May give this a try and who knows where it will lead me. I have a new project which is the Positive Vibes Daily Challenge, check it out.


"Positive vibes" is definitely a mantra in my house. I say it's the only way to really fight gravity and fly :)
I'm checking out your challenge right now. Thanks for sharing it!


Best of luck to your flash fiction initiative.

We've been doing this for a long time by using the freewrite tag.

You can check out some of my freewrites here....




We write these short complete fiction pieces every night.

It's what I do best....... and it's the reason I joined Steemit.

I hope you will check some of these out and let me know what you think.


Sweet! I will definitely check them out @jeezzle
I've been less than consistent on Steemit so I haven't seen the #freewrite tag. I'm sure we can think of ways to cross-promote too. I love flash fiction but I usually work on those in between writing and editing my novella. Most of the time it's prompted by a dream.

I didn't know it was called 'flash fiction' but I've been VERY much enjoying doing short story challenges and 'freewrites' on steemit that basically fit that mold. I'm interested if you need my input!


I will definitely keep you all posted with the progress of the project. My goal is to publish a book which would be available on eReaders with a print option. To do that I want to make sure the collaborators are fairly compensated.

It's an interesting idea for a project. I tend to be a long winded writer lol. I've never given short, short fiction a try before. I think it would be an interesting challenge to write even a 6 word story.


If you're on Twitter definitely check out the hashtag. I'm blown away by the creativity. I think I've seen the 6-word story challenge floating around Steemit once upon a time... maybe? Well, I wouldn't be surprised. It's not easy at all but that's what makes challenges fun, right? Run with it!

Sounds like a nice project. I tried the 30daychallenge thingie....I gave up after 5 days. I'm not a writer. I get brain cramps. :)

I can support it however you would like me to. Maybe commenting and giving rah rah's to those who need encouragement or feedback.

Hemmingway's short story is about how I write - just the facts - you can fill in the details however you see fit. :) lol


I bet you could whip up a 500 word horror story or two. I may have to double dog dare ya.


I have some real horror stories to tell.....I could probably write one with some help. I try writing but it sounds stilted and so unsmooth. I'll give it a go. Put me on your list. I'll put on my big girl panties and grab a pen.....no my laptop and a coffee .


ah, the anticipation! it's killing me <wink,wink>

I am absolutely up for this! I'm brand new to Steemit and this is exactly what I was hoping to find: community-driven, collaborative creativity. Excited to be a part of it.


Awesome; I really love flash fiction and can't wait to see what people come up with!

Good advice here, mere - this should keep you busy :)


I need something to keep me busy. I realize that helping others also helps me stay out of the dark place. Win Win, right?


I double dog dared John.


You could write something flashy and fictiony and scary. Maybe a part 2 of Velvet.

Oh Mere, you know that I'm all for this. Count me in! I may be known for longer-than-usual fiction here on Steemit, but way before I joined Steemit, I was big on microfiction in Twitter and other blog sites. I've been itching to get back to it, especially when I read Hemingway's, which is probably my fave flash fiction of all time.

I've been out for the a while because I've been out of the country, so I apologize for not being able to comment, but I'm slowly trying to catch up on what I missed. Let me know if the guidelines are up in case I fail to comment on it for more than a day :D

The "show, don't tell" mantra might apply better on larger pieces of fiction, but quite frankly I feel good flash fiction tends to take a minimalistic approach to the showing part. As you don't have a full page to "set the mood", showing must be compact and minimal, or how a brilliant author friend of mine refers to it : "scetch, don't paint". After I first heard that alternative mantra for flash fiction, I've noticed it's pretty much correct. All the best flash fiction seems to fit this alternative mantra while that flash fiction that follows the mantra that works so well for a novel often ends up feeling like the first page of that novel that no-one bothered to write.

You clear this post of flash fiction...Thanks a lot for discuss about writing topic..Well done...


Thanks @nnajmull I love flash fiction. :)


Oh really..Carry on your writing...

I would like to give a try to this writing exercise, please! I usually write in Spanish so I think this might help me improve my writing in English.