Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Flash fiction - slim and trim

Let me introduce you to one of my new loves: flash fiction. Perhaps it's because I love a challenge. Flash fiction is a story that is (usually) under a thousand words. Some magazines use 500, 750 or 1500 as the word limit. And it's not a character sketch. It has to have all the elements of a good story - not least of which, a beginning, middle and an end.

Like poetry, it's a discipline of word economy - you have so few to work with every word must count. If you can write a story of 1,000 words you'll find improvement in your longer works as you recognize the unnecessary words and scenes.

I'm a born editor. I think that's what makes flash easier for me, because the limit is really achieved (for me) through editing. I recommend giving it a shot. It will improve your prose and you may find it more satisfying than your weekly crossword.

Below are some places that publish flash fiction and a couple of other articles on the subject. What I think adds more fun is when you have to write about a specific prompt either written or an image. Try it and let us know how you do.

Flash Fiction Online
Vestal Review
Every Day Fiction
Literary Potpourri
Flash Me Magazine
Abyss and Apex (1500 wds)
Flash Fiction Project (No pay, no editorial review - blog comments)
SF Crowsnest
Maternal Spark (under 500)
Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette
WOW - Women on Writing
Duotrope (SF/F/H market list where you can sort by flash)
The Rose City Sisters

Writing World
Fiction Factor


Paula L. Johnson said...

Thanks for the shout out!

H.E.Eigler said...

Thanks for sharing the link to Maternal Spark!