What is ‘flash fiction’? Well, there’s some difference of opinion on this subject. Some say it’s fiction under 100 words; for others it can be up to 1000 words. The term itself is relatively recent, although the form has been around for decades. Other terms used include ‘sudden fiction’ (although this does tend towards the shorter end of the range) and – my personal favourite – ‘postcard fiction’.
It’s a great form for readers. I love flash fiction for its instant engagement, its sense of immediacy. But don’t let the ‘flash’ part deceive you. These stories can be layered and thought-provoking, containing depth and colour. Flash fiction shouldn’t be read in a flash!
For writers too – first-timers, budding, experienced – it’s a form to be embraced. With the rise of the internet the opportunities for publishing flash fiction have increased dramatically. There are journals (both in print and online) which accept submissions of flash fiction. There are several journals dedicated entirely to the form.
So, is flash fiction a flash in the pan? Short answer: no! I think it’s a wonderful form that will go from strength to strength. And I’m not the only one who thinks it’s worth celebrating; there’s been a National Flash Fiction Day on 16 May for 5 years now! Hurrah!
Proprietor of editorial business Splendid Stories. Experienced, professional editor offering creative guidance, developmental editing/critiquing, copy-editing, and proofreading. Follow @SplendidStories on Twitter. See 'What I do' for more information.