What in the devil is a “flash fiction”?
You might be wondering why I decided to create a blog that is dedicated to a thing called flash fiction. What in the fried fish is a flash fiction!?
I’m glad you asked!
Flash fiction is a form of fiction that can also be considered as microfiction, postcard fiction, short-shorts, and a host of other terms of endearment for this type of fiction. Flash fiction actually derives from the short story.
The difference between flash fiction and a short story is that the word count for flash fiction can range from 6 to 1500 words, while a short story consists of a word count that can range from 1000 to 10,000. Anything beyond that will get you into what I like to call “novel land”.
Why did you go the flash fiction route with your blog?
Well, I deleted my Facebook a couple of months ago. I find most of social media to be hazardous, despite the need to use it in order to have a broader reach when it comes to marketing and advertising your brand, business, or company. It’s a tool, and a lot of people use it. I was also exposed to the art of writing “microburst” stories, every week, that had to be 1,000 words or less, during this past semester in my MFA in Creative Writing Program, and it really helped to get my creative juices flowing through my brain, down to my fingertips, and onto the pages of a blank Google Doc.
So, I came up with this idea that, instead of scrolling through the toxic, triggering, and hazardous parts of social media, why not just give people something different to scroll through? Why not give them a fun, quick story to read? A story that builds up with conflict, tension, suspense, romance, action, and adventure more and more with each “episode”, and they can read it piece by piece! Who wouldn’t enjoy something like that?
It takes me about 1-2 hours to write each episode, about another hour to edit it, but it will only take you about 5 minutes to read it.
What I decided to do with my first flash fiction series, Lola Sky, that you may have been seeing on Instagram lately, was to create an overall plot of the entire story (so I know what is going to happen, but I’m allowing you to guess!), and break it all up into mini-episodes. So the entire arc of the characters and plot form within each episode. So, for Season 1, Episodes 1-12, you will develop some sort of attachment to the main characters. (Don’t miss the Season Finale of Season 1! Coming Monday 6/14/2021!) However, in Season 2, I will go further into the action and thrill…well you’ll see, and it will get even crazier season after season.
I thought it was a really fun concept, the “5-minute soap opera” that you can read anywhere you go. You can read on your computer, phone, or tablet. You can read while standing in line at Walmart (and we know how those lines can be!), you can read it in the morning while gulping down your coffee, or walking your dog. I had the people who come home from work after a long day in mind, parents who want something fun to read after putting their little ones to bed. Just a little quick fix.
Know what I mean?
Instead of jumping on Facebook and things like that as soon as you get a moment, catch up on Lola Sky! She’s smart, quirky, has a cat, and a very cute guy as her sidekick…or is he? Read it and tell me what you think is gonna happen next!
Okay, so how can I write flash fiction? This sounds like fun!
And it really is! If you’re a writer suffering from “writer’s block”, this is something you definitely want to try! In fact, you might want to try writing in a different genre than you’re used to. I thought I was a Sci-Fi writer, but my true foundation is in Contemporary fiction (I’ll talk about this in another post), but thanks to having to write several pieces of microburst fiction in class, I learned that I really enjoyed writing romantic scenes.
So, if you try writing 1,000 words or less at a time, a different genre each time (Horror Fiction, Romance Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, etc.), you will notice how many more ideas your brain will come up with as you write! You’ll also discover the different formulas that are used for each genre.
Another tip when it comes to writing this way is to challenge yourself to complete a story arc for each story. In Lola Sky, there’s an overall story arc and character arcs that are created through each season, but then we have mini-arcs that happen in each episode, whether it’s character-driven, or plot-driven. When writing flash fiction, you want to “hurry up” and close the arc. Are we focusing on the plot? Then, make sure you have a good climax and end on a good note. Is it character-driven? Then, focus on how the character goes from being one way to another. How can we make the good guy a stone-cold-hearted villain in 1000 words? Stuff like that.
Did I lose you at this point? My bad, y’all!
I’ll go into further details about what arcs, genres, and other types of fiction are in future posts. I hope that you decide to practice writing your own flash fiction pieces after reading this, even if you are a newbie to the world of writing.