Minutes on the Author Express

Have you discovered flash fiction?

Image of a speeding train.
Photo by Martin Pu00e9chy on Pexels.com

Flash fiction is a writing format that is very short. That is its defining characteristic. Shorter than a short story, flash fiction is any story less than 1000 words long. But they are often much shorter than that. You can find this short fiction in magazines and books, on websites, and even on social media. 

There are magazines and websites devoted to flash fiction but you can also find it among articles in more general publications. You can find anthologies of flash fiction alone, and combinations of poetry and short fiction.

Social media platforms have become writing platforms too. There are authors on Twitter who write tiny stories that fit into a single tweet. Recently I discovered seven day stories. These are pieces of flash fiction that fit into seven tweets, posted over a week. 

From Twitter to Wattpad, to Buy Me a Coffee, to online writing magazines, you can find the whole gamut of flash fiction without even moving away from your device.

Whatever your preferred reading format, there’s a type of flash fiction for you.

Let’s get straight to the best part

Flash fiction is often free! This is because the author is using it as a way to attract your attention. Once you discover an author you like, you may want to read more of their work.

Writing for a different reading format can help authors with discoverability. You may not buy many books, so when you do, you stick to the same few authors. But if you spend a lot of time on social media, you may discover a new author to add to your bookshelf.

Some authors write flash fiction between longer writing projects. A change is (sometimes) as good as a rest and it keeps those skills sharp.

Posting flash fiction is also a great way for newer authors to get used to having their work judged. 

When trying to develop a ‘thick skin’, it’s a good idea to do it in small steps.

A little feedback on a small piece of work is easy to accept. Getting reviews on a book you spent a year pouring your soul into, can be tough. Even when the feedback is 90 percent positive, authors tend to focus on the 10 percent that isn’t. It’s a habit many of us have to unlearn. Flash fiction can be the first step on that road.

Why do people read flash fiction?

Many of us just don’t have time to read as much as we would like. And, of course, reading isn’t everyone’s favourite thing. Some people only want to read occasionally, or for short periods at a time. Flash fiction is perfect for fitting into whatever time you set aside for reading.

Poetry can be great for those with little time for reading, too. But it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If you prefer stories, then flash fiction might be a better option. Or you could try mixing things up with an anthology of different writing forms.

Want a more personal touch?

If you head over to the flash fiction on my website, you’ll find a piece I’ve written especially for my readers.

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