5 Elements of Powerful Flash Fiction Flash fiction contains most of the following elements in every single story:
Brevity Flash fiction tells a complete story in 1,000 words or less. Sometimes a lot less words. Many markets want stories that are 750, 500, or 100 words long. Some contests, such the annual 55 Fiction contest, require even fewer words. With the surging popularity of Twitter, some writers have now exchanged word counts for 140 characters.55 Fiction contest Twitter
Character All fiction requires characters, or at least some sort of presence through which the story is told. The reader identifies with the characters in a story. In flash fiction, characters have little time to be developed and described, so you must make the most of your opportunities. Show them in action. Describe the little details that bring the character to life in the readers mind.
Surprise Endings Flash fiction is famous for its twist endings which often surprise or shock the reader. Think of a punch line to a joke as a good example of this.
Rich Language Flash fiction exists somewhere between the realms of poetry and short story and uses poetic language to weave the tale efficiently. The format is fluid, allowing the writer to experiment and play with words and form.
Change Even though flash fiction doesnt have a lot of words, a lot of action is packed into each story. Something has to happen during the course of the story. A story is a container for change. This means that something has to change within course of the story. It can be a physical change to the character, an epiphany that changes the characters way or thinking, or a change in how the reader perceives that character and/or situation.
3 Reasons Why You Should Write Flash Fiction Flash fiction is good for writers. Many best-selling authors such as David Foster Wallace, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, and John Updike have, in recent years, produced fiction in this format. But writers have always embraced the short-short story form. Writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, and Anton Chekhov have all written flash fiction. Many other authors such as Robert Olen Butler and Bruce Holland Rogers are exploring and stretching the boundaries of the format. So why should you write flash fiction?
Low risk, little time investment If you spend two years of your life writing the Great American Novel that stinks, well, you wasted two years of your life. Flash fiction is low-risk. If you write a terrible flash fiction story, you might have invested a few hours in it. You can move on to the next story and try again. It does not involve as much of a commitment as writing a lengthy short story or a novel does. It provides instant gratification. In less than a day, you can have a completed (and possibly publishable) story to show for your efforts.
Great way to improve your writing skills Writing flash fiction makes you aware of every word you choose. You learn to write well using as few words as possible. In flash fiction, you need to know the elements of good fiction and how they work together. It is far easier to write a long story, wasting words, wandering off on tangents, introducing interesting characters that have nothing to do with the main story. But flash fiction is coiled like a spring. There is no wasted energy in flash fiction. Every word in the story is significant and drives you toward the climactic conclusion.
Flash Fiction 2013 Writing Contest Guidelines Can you use extra cash in your pocket? Of course you can! Write for moolah, cash, coin of the realm!
Fiction Open Deadline: September 30, 2013 1st place has been increased to $2500 and includes publication in Glimmer Train. 2nd/3rd: $1000/$600 and consideration for publication. Results announced on December 1. Word count generally ranges 2000-8000, though up to 20,000 is fine. There are no theme restrictions. One of the most respected short-story journals in print, Glimmer Train is represented in recent editions of the Pushcart Prize, O. Henry, New Stories from the South, New Stories from the Midwest, and Best American Short Stories anthologies. Submit online: www.glimmertrain.org.www.glimmertrain.org
Open City Magazine RRofihe Trophy Short Story Contest @anderbo Online submission deadline: January 7, 2014 No fee to enter the 2013 RRofihe Trophy Short Story Contest, which was started in 2004 at Open City Magazine (Editors: Thomas Beller and Joanna Yas). For short stories between 3500 and 5000 words in length. Author of winning story receives $500; a trophy; and publication on Anderbo.com. Complete guidelines atwww.anderbo.com/anderbo1/no- fee-rrofihe-trophy2013.html.www.anderbo.com/anderbo1/no- fee-rrofihe-trophy2013.html
The Second Annual Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence Online submission deadline: September 30, 2013 The Puritan is proud to announce the return of the Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence! Two winners in the fields of poetry and fiction will receive a generous prize package, including cash ($900/fiction and $600/poetry) and a collection of books (approx. $600 for each winner) from Canadas most celebrated publishers (including Coach House Books, House of Anansi, ECW Press, and many more). The winning entries will also appear in The Puritan Issue XXIII: Fall 2013 and be honoured at a launch party. See our website, www.puritan-magazine.comfor submission details! Deadline: Sept. 30, 2013. Brave the frontier today!www.puritan-magazine.com
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