Tag Archives: flash story

What makes a flash story?

Flash refers to a very short story. Think of them as elevator stories – a quick smile or flash of diamond, a peek of thigh and whiff of cologne. Read in five minutes, but remembered for a lifetime. You’ll find varying definitions of the length of a flash story, but 300-2000 words is common; a […]

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Add some crackle

It’s called onomatopoeia and it’s words that bring sound to your stories.  Merriam-Webster defines it as 1) the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (buzz, hiss)  2) the use of words whose sound suggests the sense (hiccup). Make a list of word sounds you like.  […]

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Hitchhiker’s guide to flash stories online

“Vignette” is a word that originally meant “something that may be written on a vine-leaf.” It’s a snapshot in words. It differs from a short story in that its aim does not lie within the realms of traditional structure or plot. The vignette focuses on one element, mood, character, setting or object. It’s descriptive, excellent for […]

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To Do by Jennifer Egan

I am intrigued and inspired by lists as a story form. By nature, they are quintessential flash writing. At the moment, I am forlorn with how difficult it is to tell a good story via a list.  Making a list is easy since I live by them and come from a long line of expert list […]

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Last Night, the Little Dipper Looked Like … by Ethel Rohan

I fell in love this week with 100 Word Story, a literary journal of “perfect shards”, an exemplar of form that allows the writer “to keep a story free from explanation” – a distinction of flash writing.  To pick the Spotlight story for August, I wrote the titles of the first eight stories featured on […]

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Camping Box by Marsha Chandler

Crawling into bed and settling my face next to the screen, I was tired but closed my eyes only briefly. This summer traveling across the country, my cousin and I are sleeping in a box on top of the car made by my engineering-wiz grandpa.  The first day on the road was long, even the distraction […]

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The Rooster by Kerry Headley

I love this funny little story by Kerry Headley.  She explains its origin: “I responded to the theme ‘Craigslist Roommate.’ Since I’ve had more than my share of not so sane housemates, it was easy for me to come up with something. In fact, it was hard to choose.” See this and more great flash stories in […]

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Pink Horse by Kate Bernheimer

I got fooled by this terrific story and I bet you will too.  It’s got it all: a compelling opener that pulls you right in, atmospheric detail that makes you feel the scene, and a doozie of a surprise. You gotta read the story so we can talk about it … Pink Horse by Kate Bernheimer […]

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It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers by Colin Nissan

Have you ever cut loose like this?  It’s pretty therapeutic once you get in the rhythm of it. Colin Nissan’s story starts like this: I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get my hands on some fucking gourds and arrange them in a horn-shaped basket on my dining room table. That shit is […]

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The First Time I Lost My Child by Galen Pearl

I was at the check in desk at the hotel in Stuttgart, Germany. My three year old son was standing at my knee. When the elevator door opened a few yards from the desk, James bolted and ran into the empty car. I dropped my passport, credit card, everything, as I lunged for the closing […]

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3 ways to end a flash story

I like this notion about story endings from Guy Hogan at Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette: “There are three basic kinds of resolution: epiphany, change of direction and summation. – An epiphany is a realization. – A change in direction bridges from one subject to another. – A summation clarifies what the story is really about.” Try […]

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Samples of flash memoirs

If you need some inspiration or just a few good samples of flash memoirs to help you get started with your own, here are a handful of my favorites.  If you are easily discouraged by great writing and can’t help but compare it to your own lousy drafts, then definitely do not read on. <wink […]

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