Short-Story Month, Day #5. Flash Fiction (Or, “He’s going to babble a lot, isn’t he?”)


By Jeff Baker

Flash fiction is defined (sometimes) as fiction under 1,000 words, and I have been writing a lot of it on this blog in the last three years. I’ve been participating in two successive flash fiction picture prompt Facebook pages and posting my results on this blog. This has strengthened the writing muscles and improved my (always shaky) writing discipline. In previous Short-Story Month posts I’ve talked about my stories in “The World’s Shortest Stories of Love and Death,” my first published fiction in a nationwide market, but my first stories were flash fiction. A couple of them appeared in my college’s literary magazine and I wrote a few others. I concentrated on non-fiction and didn’t write a full-length story until 1994. I recommend writing them for practice, to learn the craft and to learn how to include the necessities of a short-story; plot, character and an ending, into a small amount of words.

As for another anthology of flash (or near flash-fiction); the aforementioned “World’s Shortest Stories…” and books like “100 Great fantasy Short Short Stories.” Edited by Asimov, Carr and Greenberg and published by Avon Books. Including stories by Harlan Ellison and Frederic Brown. Granted, they are stretching the word limit of what we call Flash Fiction today but the stories are compact and entertaining.

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