8 Flash Fiction Writing Tips


8 Flash Fiction Writing Tips

I’ve been writing flash fictions for about six years now and reading tons of them, both for fun and for the entries into the competitions we run at Retreat West. Through the reading that I do for the competitions, I’ve come to understand a lot about what makes a flash work, and to recognise why it doesn’t.

So many of the stories that don’t make it through the first judging round are trying to fit too much in, which leads me to my first piece of advice.


Flash Fiction Writing Tip #1

Identify the point of the story and really think about what needs to be in there to, subtly, get that point across.


Flash Fiction Writing Tip #2

Keep your cast small. Too many characters spoil the flow.


Flash Fiction Writing Tip #3

Think about what you leave unsaid. This is often where the impact of a story really lies.


Flash Fiction Writing Tip #4

Focus on making the reader feel something. It’s the stories that do this that resonate.


Flash Fiction Writing Tip #5

Play with language. Such a small word count means you must choose the right ones to convey what you mean. Often the first word you choose won’t be the right one.


Flash Fiction Writing Tip #6

Read a lot of flash fictions. Consume them daily.


Flash Fiction Writing Tip #7

Use prompts to hone your skills and try writing to different word counts.


Flash Fiction Writing Tip #8

Leave them to sit. Just because they’re short doesn’t mean they are ready straight away. Go back and edit. Leave to sit for a while then edit again.


Just like a flash, these tips are short and sweet but if you use them to develop your flash fiction writing they will have an impact.

Join us to read and create lots more flash fictions on our Fantastic Flashing course.


One thought on “8 Flash Fiction Writing Tips

  1. Jeanne Ellin says:

    Thank you, Amanda, these are worth chewing over and digesting but can already see how helpful they will be. Flash fiction seems to have much in common with poetry Jeanne Ellin

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