Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Flash Fiction

A colleague at work has just introduced me to something called flash fiction and although it is different to what I normally blog about, I was so amazed by it I thought I would share the information.

Flash fiction is 'a style of fictional literature 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'.

'It can be whatever you want it to be. A moment in time, a conversation, a flit between different memories, times or places... Or simply one narrator's brief experience'.

This makes flash fiction sound terribly boring but here are some examples that will help to demonstrate how powerful this form of writing can be..................

'Black Hole'

by Daniel Carpenter

There is a black hole above her house.

This swirling cosmic nothingness, ever expanding, tendrils reaching out across the sky. She does not know how it got there. She knows it's taking her things. She does not remember last Saturday. When she tries to explain it she can't. She wants to say, "There's a black hole above my house and it's stealing every memory I have ever treasured," but it is not the kind of sentence people understand.

The black hole expands, time collapses in on itself.

She discovers her twelve year old self in her attic.


'The Worst Head in the World'

by Angela Readman

Liam gave me his mother's head. I guess he was sick of carrying it around.

'It's just for a while,' he said, placing the jar on the drawers. In the dark, lips made budgie-like kissing sounds. We had a reason to screw loud.

Come morning, the head tutted, 'I WANT a doily.'

It frowned if I wasted chicken bones, or didn't ask Liam if he'd washed his hands.

When he went, Liam left the head behind. It wavers in the water, tells me I'm not good enough, nods when I iron seams in jeans.


I think these two are the most thought-provoking though, this one by Jenny Adamthwaite

'New Shoes'

Dad wanted trainers.

"I'd like to know I could run away," he said.

When the hospital bed lay empty, it gave us a moment's hope.


and this one by Ernest Hemingway using only 6 words, incredible!

For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Rachel Carter describes flash fiction as making her feel 'breathless  thoughtful and wondering what just happened'.

I agree with her and really enjoy rereading them and feeling the impact sink in.

If you would like to read more on Flash fiction this is the site that the examples above came from

and they are running a competition just for today at The Write -In

so if this is your thing, have a go at this amazing style of writing.

Also, if you like the flash fiction above some of the authors have their work free to download to Kindle just for today.

Go to for your free download but only available today.

If you take part, leave a comment and let me know who you downloaded and what you think

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