Truth. Justice. And brevity.
The flash fiction. I first learned about it in 2006. My high school creative writing teacher made sure that was the first lesson we learned in his class. My English classes never covered them — probably because a famous author hadn’t written one that had enough to analyze on. I was skeptical when my teacher told us that you could essentially write a flash fiction on an index card. I mean, really? An index card? I was thinking he was talking about the jumbo index cards, but no, he wasn’t. He was speaking about a standard index card. Flash fiction, as he defined it, were super short stories that ranged from 100-750 words. In essence: the length of an average blog post.
I’m here to tell you that it can be done. But you shouldn’t think of it as writing an entire story with a clear beginning, climax, and end. You’re essentially writing a scene that can stand on its own. A glimpse, if you will, of a character or characters and what they’re doing at that particular time.
Flash fiction can teach the novelist how to write tightly. With only 750 words to work with you have no other option but to be concise. Do you really need those adjectives and adverbs or is there another way to tell the story without them? What can really be cut? Master the flash fiction and you’ve mastered how to edit your own novel.