Why I like flash fiction

There are a plethora of contests out there for flash fiction. And many other venues for it as well – Narrative.org for example, had a niche specifically for flash fiction. (Narrative has since announced it is “sunsetting”).

I know a lot of folks don’t like to write in this format, but let me tell you why I enjoy it.

  1. You have to really make every word count in order to tell a story with a specific beginning, middle and end.
  2. You have to be creative about how much to share and when.
  3. It makes you very aware of your characters, setting, and goals for the piece.
  4. You can always expand it later into: a short story, novelette, novella or <gasp> a novel…in fact, you can string together a group of flash fiction stories and transform them into any one of those larger forms. (I know, I’ve done it).
  5. Limiting the number of words makes writing less scary. Yes, you read that right – sometimes the thought of writing thousands of words can stop me in my tracks. But telling a story in 150-500 words – not so terrifying. It let’s you write in easily chewable bite sized portions.
  6. And if you are like me, and you like to write daily – it makes for a satisfying writing experience. (Yes I am working on several larger pieces that I expect to become novellas, but the flash fiction allows me to feel as though I’ve accomplished something. And I have!)

So consider this as you scan for places to publish or contests to enter. And spend some time writing a little flash fiction.

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