A writer can write nearly an infinite number of flash fiction short stories if he or she has a clear understanding of just how the form works.
The form incorporates the classic short story form: a beginning, a middle and an end. I like to use the terms: the setup, the buildup and the resolution.
Because the form is so short you want to keep the setup as short as possible. The longer the setup is the more a writer has a tendency to explain what is going to happen instead of showing what does happen. You want to get the characters interacting as soon as possible. Dialogue is a great device for doing just that.
Keep in mind that the flash fiction story is about a significant event in the life of at least one of the characters, usually the protagonist.
Finally, we come to the resolution. There are three basic kinds of resolution: epiphany, change of direction and the summation.
An epiphany is a realization. A change in direction is just that. The entire story is going in one direction until the resolution sends it in a different direction. And a summation clarifies what the story is really about.
Keep reading and keep writing that flash fiction.
The Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette is an online magazine of creative ideas, serious writing and brazen sexuality.
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