Flash fiction is a style of fictional literature or fiction of extreme brevity. There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some self-described markets for flash fiction impose caps as low as three hundred words, while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction.
One of the first known usages of the term “flash fiction” in reference to the literary style was the 1992 anthology Flash Fiction: Seventy-Two Very Short Stories. Editor James Thomas stated that the editors’ definition of a “flash fiction” was a story that would fit on two facing pages of a typical digest-sized literary magazine. In China the style is frequently called a “smoke long” or “palm-sized” story, with the comparison being that the story should be finished before the reader could finish smoking a cigarette.
Other names for flash fiction include micro fiction, micro narrative, micro-story, postcard fiction, short short, short short story, and sudden fiction, though distinctions are sometimes drawn among some of these terms; for example, sometimes 1000 words is considered the cutoff between “flash fiction” and the slightly longer short story “sudden fiction”. The terms “micro fiction” and “micro narrative” are sometimes defined as below 300 words. The term “short short story” was the most common term until about 2000, when it was overtaken by “flash fiction”.
Choose one of the images below to inspire you to write a single scene that takes place in the same world and moment as your chosen image.
Key Points for your Flash Fiction
- Use google docs
- about 500 words
- include the image you chose at the top of your page followed by your title