Flash fiction, micro-fiction, mini-fiction, postcard fiction, sudden fiction and the very short story are different than the short story. Here is why.
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Flash fiction is very popular with editors, readers and writers.
It’s popular with editors because it leaves more space for advertisements.
It’s popular with readers because a well-written piece of flash fiction is good entertainment and doesn’t take long to read.
It’s popular with writers because it doesn’t take long to write.
Yet a lot of writers who try to write flash fiction, who do not succeed at writing flash fiction, do not understand the one basic reason why the flash fiction story is different than the regular-length story.
True, the flash fiction story by definition has all of the elements of characterization, conflict or tension, story development and resolution that the regular-length short story has. The thing that is significantly different about the flash fiction story is, “It captures a moment in time just before the resolution.” This is what a writer attempting to write flash fiction must keep in mind at all times during the creative process. Keeping this significant difference in mind has several implications.
Any idea a writer comes up with must fit within this parameter of significance. The story must take place within a very narrow time frame. The story must use as few characters and settings as possible. Two characters and one setting are good goals to shoot for. That’s it.
Anyone can write a good flash fiction story if there is talent, perseverance, imagination and mental focus. Flash fiction rocks!