[How to Write] 13 Tips for Writing Flash Fiction

Hi I’m Anna Yeatts for Flash Fiction Online and thanks for tuning in for 13 tips for writing flash fiction or
insider tricks to writing insanely short stories. I want to focus on some
fundamental tips for writing flash fiction cause it ain’t easy getting out of
the slush pile and onto an editor’s desk. These tips will teach you how. For flash
fiction online stories must be between 500 and a thousand words. Tthose are some tight restrictions and that’s not a lot of space for your story
but as Shakespeare said brevity is the soul of wit. You can sum up flash fiction
in that word brevity though. The One tweet work out. Pretend you have one tweet to convey
the main idea. Take out all unnecessary words. Nothing shows you how to whittle
down the sentence to the key elements better than Twitter. pretend you only get
one single solitary tweet to get the idea across. Can you do it? You don’t need all those adjectives and adverbs. Just use stronger nouns and verbs to do all
the heavy lifting. For example don’t say walk leisurely when you can say
sauntered don’t say small dog when you can say Chihuahua your specificity will
build a better story with a smaller word count exception for dialogue tags you’re
better off just using stead as other verbs related to speech tend to be
distracting trust us said is your friend pick a key emotion to color the story
readers love it when they feel something caution do not manipulate the reader
with melodrama melodrama a dramatic form that does not observe the laws of cause
and effect and then exaggerate some motion and emphasizes plot or action at
the expense of characterization you’ve gotta earn those fields and try ending
in a different emotional place than where you start size matters big ideas
go in big stories and small ideas go in small stories it seems simple right okay
at least until you try to do it or until you try to figure out if you have a big
idea or a small idea the main difference is how you explore your concept well
with the big idea there’s a lot going on a big idea equals a civil war breaks out
in on several noble houses for the iron throne of the Seven Kingdoms so you can
think about it like a 360 degree panorama no matter where you look
there’s that big going on George Herbert ever throws he
could even fit it in one book much less a thousand words that’s a big story my
idea a sentient being Mike robot faces its demise and that of its companion
BOTS this death comes for the MicroBot by Annie Pichette what makes this one
small and light out early it jumps in right before the demise of the box and
ends right after do we need their origin story and the rest of the world after
the bots are powered down for the last time no at least I don’t number 5
limit your scenes one scene might be best otherwise the world building and
setting could take up too much work out the key is choosing a small but powerful
moment in the character’s life and placing your story there it’s the anti
epic story number six pick a strong image give us a meaningful and memorable
visual you want a movie example Indiana Jones shoots the fancy swordsman in
Raiders of the Lost Ark or in the movie 7 the box opening scene new mother
nup do that with words number 7 limit character clutter speaking of characters
you don’t need more than 1 or 2 more than that and it gets dicey too much
dialogue too many interactions 12 Disney Princesses sued over for a short story
or novel one day at sea princess zoo boat for
flash fiction just say no to character clutter ok let’s talk about point of
view and choosing the right point of view for a flash fiction story ok you
don’t have very much time which means we need to jump right into your main
character’s head and feel like we know them so you want to really tight point
of view and if you don’t understand what’s porn of you as well don’t worry
we’ll be posting some more videos about that later the quick answer is think
about looking after someone else’s eyeballs you’re better off using first
person or third person limited points of view which stick tight to the
protagonists pad hopping is particularly jarring in flash fiction and avoid third
omniscient which also brings in too many points of view and character baggage for
such a small space if you’re using an admission you’re
probably bouncing around from character to character with only a thousand words
it gets really confusing to keep up with who this person is and who that person
is and where are we going in what tense are we in what city you in and what’s
happening so give us one character to know and care about and just
with that character one character one carry-on no suitcase there can be only
one the same goes for theme you only have room for one make it count
but don’t hit us over the head with it either a subtle thing that’s better than
a hardcore one humans don’t respond well to stories that are more about a lesson
than entertainment 10:1 conflict Harry vs. Voldemort focused on one main
conflict skip the subplots JK Rowling is a master of subplots so if this were a
Harry Potter flash it would be stripped of everything else but the main conflict
– Harry vs. Voldemort Harry wouldn’t be involved with Joe
Hermione wouldn’t campaign to free the house elves Ron wouldn’t play Quidditch
Fred and George wouldn’t quit school to open a joke shop and a million other
things just wouldn’t fit remember Harry Voldemort start in the middle of the
story at the beginning of the conflict avoid backstory or prologue and it’s
best if you don’t use flashbacks or flash-forward either they don’t work
well in such a small space over the rainbow make sure you have a character
arc there’s nothing more disappointing that character doesn’t grow change or
learn sure it happens but does it make a fulfilling experience not particularly choose an effective title first
impressions help count whatever let your title do some of the work but don’t give
away the store to resolution with it either titles that are spoilers there
you have it those are some of our tips are writing flash fiction and
congratulations you made it to the end of the video and this is far longer than
any flash fiction you’re gonna have to write so well done while you’re here
make sure to subscribe to our channel make sure to hit us up on Facebook and
Twitter or on our website flash fiction online.com and when you have those
stories ready go ahead and submit them our submission link is there as well you
can also find us on duit wrote and the submissions grinder so let us know these
aren’t hard and fast rules by any means there are plenty of great exceptions out
there but we’re confident that if you follow these aspects then you use the
idea of brevity you keep it short sweet and simple and to the point you’ll have
a lot easier time crafting some great fiction out there if you use this guide
come back and let us know how it went we want to hear from you if you have
any questions leave them for us in the feedback and we’ll try to make videos
and answer those questions for you as well and just don’t forget writing takes
time just keep at it keep going anything you want you just it’s never gonna come
easy and writing is one of those things so subscribe and all the links are down
below thanks for making it this long thanks for tuning in and we’ll talk to
you soon you luck happy writing you

5 thoughts on “[How to Write] 13 Tips for Writing Flash Fiction

  1. helpful, however the presenter talks impossibly fast with an accent that is difficult to understand, grateful for CC

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