If you follow my blog at all, you know that I occasionally post a piece of micro or flash fiction here. Some people may not understand what a very short story or piece of writing is for or what to do with it. It’s there to enjoy, to simply read and maybe think about as you move through your day. I use flash fiction as inspiration. I use oneword.com to write most of my micro fiction. The site gives you a word and then 60 seconds to write whatever comes to your mind. It’s very inspirational and there is a great sense of satisfaction when you are finished with the piece. You can choose to continue it and polish it up from there, but I usually post the raw results.
Although there is some debate in the writing community about the length of flash fiction, generally it is a piece of fiction that is between 500 and 1,000 words long. However, some sources say a flash fiction story can be as low as 300 words and as high as 1,500 words. If you’re writing for your own enjoyment, that word count doesn’t matter. But if you’re writing for a publication, make sure you check their word count requirements for flash fiction.
While Googling ‘flash fiction online’ the other day, I realized there is actually a publication called Flash Fiction Online. Not only does it exist, but it’s really great. You can read flash fiction on their website, read copies on your kindle, subscribe to a print version of the magazine, and you can also submit your own flash fiction for publication. (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can purchase one here. If you don’t want to purchase one and have a tablet or smart phone, you can get a free Kindle app here.)
The thing about flash fiction, for me, is that it is addictive. I love short stories and have always been drawn to them. They give an immediate sense of success when you complete the story in a short amount of time. For busy people, short stories and flash fiction are little bites of literature that we can enjoy on a daily basis, without having to worry about forgetting what happened four days ago when we read for five minutes between meetings at work. It’s instant gratification that feeds my soul in bite sized pieces.
Flash Fiction Online is definitely a smorgasbord of delight for the flash fiction lover. Since I found the site, I have bookmarked it and read just about every story they currently have on their website. You can read past issues on their website as well. It’s only $9.99 for a year subscription to print (12 issues) or $0.99 per issue for Kindle purchases. It’s very affordable and extremely enjoyable.
Flash Fiction, as a whole, is a fairly new thing in the writing and reading world. My research indicates that the first real use of the term was in 1992 with the publication of a book called, ‘Flash Fiction: 72 Very Short Stories’. None of the 72 stories in the book are more than 750 words and it was hugely popular and still is to those who know of its existence.
So there’s a brief look into the world of flash fiction, a ‘flash look’ if you’ll be so kind as to indulge me. Check it out if you haven’t already, I think you’ll like it. Let me know what you think of flash fiction in the comments.
Happy Reading and Writing!
~ Eileen 🙂