Ever since I came to know about flash fiction, I fell in love with it. If you’re too busy a person to read a story, flash fiction is for you. And if you are on the move very often, still you can afford to read flash fiction.
The theme of a flash fiction or a very short story is made to shock you in some way or the other.
Have a look at this one, said to be composed by Ernest Hemingway, that I came to know, people don’t think of without shedding tears:
“FOR SALE. BABY SHOES. NEVER WORN.”
In short, if you want to experience powerful punches of entertainment, get addicted to flash fiction ASAP.
What is Flash Fiction?
The name speaks for itself, a kind of story that breezes past you in a flash. Is it really so?
Well 😊😊 Yeah…something like that.
The flash fiction word count might surprise you. You might discover one as short as 5 to 6 words and the extent might expand to 800-1000 words.
So, a flash fiction could be same as a short story, it might be very short or it might be somewhat longer. It could entail a beginning, a middle and a climax. The other way round, it may be a shocking piece of information or a one liner titbit.
However, some features remain constant.
It occurs in one go. That’s why “the flash”. Then, surprise or shock element is its definitive feature. Or else, how are you going to create the interest? Moreover, the writer should have the desire to drive her message across, with good amount of force.
So, we define a flash fiction as below:
A flash fiction is a short story of 5-1000 words that narrates an interesting happening in one go, with a high impact.
Flash Fiction Example
Just to get into groove with flash fiction, I will show an example below which I composed recently. The story is named ‘Losers’ and is based on a discussion that I overheard during a train journey.
“We are great losers…in life.” said Narendra, painting the wall of the huge mansion at a height of about 70 feet. “Look below …Sethji has a fleet of 7 cars. He can have a ride in a different car each day of the week.”
“And look at us. Hardly do we earn enough to be able to eat twice a day, though we work so hard.” added Joga, painting by his side.
Chandu was a bit far from them, painting and overhearing their discussion. He said smiling, ”Yeah…we eat only two times, but you know…Sethji has a severe stomach ailment and he cannot eat solid food. Some kind of liquid food has to be dripped through his hand every three hours.”
“So”, he concluded smiling, “Who’s the loser?”
How to Write Flash Fiction Superfast
Here is how you can write a flash fiction very easily. Follow the steps here and you’ll find to your surprise, that your fiction will take form astonishingly fast. You start right in the middle and then build up your story and try improvisation in the end.
Step 1; So many incidents keep happening in our daily life. Pick any of these as your central concept. Let my theme be as follows:
Nandan was expecting to win the best actor award but he could not.
Step 2: Now start building up your story around the central concept. Let’s expand the example theme.
Nandan had tried to bribe Shri Adi Shankar, known to be the apex selector of the jury, because instead of a brilliant performance in his block buster movie, Nandan was not confident of winning the award.
Step 3: Add some drama.
On the day of the award, Nandan was surprised to find Mr. Jonathan, and not Adi Shankar, sitting on the judge’s chair. As the show was about to begin, Shri Adi Shankar appeared and took his seat as MVO (Main Vigilance Officer), a post that generally acts to prevent any possible manipulation of the awards. The plan that Jonathan would in fact head the jury, had been hatched as a secret till the last moment.
Step 4: Give a shock in the end.
Nandan awaited his fate as Shri Adi Shankar’s gaze was fixed on his face from amidst the crowd. The winning expectation had dried up.
Now the question was: Would he disclose it publicly?
How to Get Ideas To Write Flash Fiction?
This world is a cobweb of events and happenings. When you move in a public transport, people are talking about different issues. There is always some breaking news on TV. Local politics keeps creating waves. In a nutshell, there are hundreds of true and speculative circumstances being created and destroyed every moment.
Flash fiction does not need you to think wholesomely or bring a plot to a logical conclusion. What you need to create through your short story is shock, interest and introspection.
Look at these sample ideas that I have picked up from among some recent events:
Mandira had exited out of her friend’s house about half an hour earlier. Remembering she had left her spectacles over there, she hurries back. On reaching her friend’s house she’s surprised to see there is no one in the house and all the doors and windows are open.
I visit an art exhibition and am surprised to see my own life-size image there. When I read the art description, I’m even more surprised to know that the description covers many events from my personal life.
This is only the third day since I sowed the seed and the plant has grown more than 3 feet. Surprised, I start to recollect, where did I get the seed and soil from and what chemicals and manures did I use.
These ideas are enough indication that there is a flash fiction contained in each and every moment. What we require is vision, imagination and writing craftsmanship.
The Formula Retold
- Look around.
- Discover interesting heresy, news or information.
- Write it in a few words.
- Add your imagination to it.
- Cut the fat. Add some drama.
- Rearrange the sequence of sentences to grab reader’s full focus.
- Give a jolt in the end.
- Remember to check: Has the story been able to drive across the message it was meant to?
What’s Your Take?
Do you think flash fiction is a good addition to a writer’s quiver?
What’s your take on my method to write flash fiction?
If you share your ideas, it will be easy for me to create more interesting content. So, kindly put forward your suggestions and ideas.