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  • Writer's pictureLaura L. Zimmerman

What is Flash Fiction? And The August Challenge.

So, if you’ve been following my journey in FF, you’ll know that I didn’t dive into this crazy world until 2016. Just after the New Year, I got into a convo with a friend about it and decided to give it a go. (You can find that post here.) If you haven’t guessed, I’ve pretty much fallen in love with it and have done my best to stick to weekly stories, posted every Friday.

As the title of this post suggests, I have a challenge for the month of August, for any who would like to join me. But first I want to ‘define’ what classifies FF. (Or try to.) When I first jumped into this mysterious universe, I had no idea what I was doing. I Googled it and got just as many answers as I did blog posts. In all honesty, the parameters are fairly vague, unless you are writing for a contest or specific website. The following are a few guidelines to help specify how you can jump in with your own stories!

Flash Fiction is:

1. Short. Duh. Okay, search the web and you’ll find mixed reviews on the word count. One website suggests less than 2000 words, another denotes no more than 1000. From what I’ve found, the most popular opinion is less than 500, although others will swear that anything over 100 is no longer considered FF. And of course, there are those that challenge you to less than 50 or even 10 words! (Technically those last two are considered Micro Fiction. Crazy, I know!) Whatever word count you choose, just stick with it. Challenge yourself to stay within that count and do your best not to go one word over. It will make you a better writer and a better editor.

2. Fiction. Again, sort of a no-brainer here. FF can be any category – Fantasy, Sci-fi, Romance, Horror. You name it. If you are going to enter a contest or write for a website, you might have a specific category to write in, or they might give a theme. I love themes because it helps narrow my brainstorming when it comes time to write my story! But otherwise, you can write about pretty much whatever you want. I usually look for real-life influences as cues for things to write about.

3. Structured. Yes, these are short. Yes, it is a challenge to create a story in so few words. But remember to have structure to your story. No matter how few words, there is always a beginning, middle and end. Don’t forget to hook that reader from the first sentence. And do add a twist or closure at the end of the story. Show as much as you can. Apply all the same rules to your FF as you would to your other writing. This is exactly the same, just really, really short. (And don’t use the word really. That’s just lazy writing. *wink*)

Okay, done. Now you know what it is and how to do it. Soooo, what is this August Challenge I have up my sleeve? Funny you should ask because I’d love for you to do this along with me!!

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Challenge Time!!                                                                                               Photo cred unsplash by Vincenzo di Giorgi

August Flash Fiction Challenge:

For the month of August, I’ve decided I am going to post not one FF story each week, but three! Yep! Instead of Flash Fiction Fridays, I’m going to add on FF Mondays and Wednesdays, as well. And I’d love for you to join in!

Not ready to commit to three postings a week? No problem! You set your own goal of FF for the month of August. If you’ve never tried FF before, maybe you’ll want to write just one story per week. Or if you’re like me, and you love, love, love it, then maybe you’ll want to go big and write a story every day! Whatever you choose, I invite you to post a link to your story in the comments section of this post, so others can find you!

So, who’s ready to get writing? I know I am! Can’t wait to get started on this fun FF challenge. See you on Monday!

Happy writing, friends!

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