Stories don’t always have to be full-length novels. In some ways, writing shorter stories like flash fiction can be more helpful to you as an author because they make you flex different writing muscles. Flash fiction means stories that are about 100 to 1,000 words long. Writing flash fiction may sound simple, but often writing extra-short stories is deceptively complicated. It’s also definitely worthwhile.
Here are three reasons why you should write flash fiction:
1. Flash fiction teaches you to be concise.
Even if you’re writing a longer story, it never hurts to practice being brief. Flash fiction helps you figure out how to pack as much impact as you can into a tiny word count. Writing flash fiction means you have to pare your story down to its most essential elements. Every character, every plot point, every setting, every single word you write in a flash fiction piece has to be important and mean something. This is a great skill to have whether you’re writing 1,000 words or 100,000.
2. Flash fiction can be easier to revise and polish.
Because flash fiction pieces are so short, they’re much easier, and less time consuming, to polish than that novel you’ve been working on for a year. You could challenge yourself to write a piece of flash fiction in a day, and then you’ll have a completed story to tinker with until it’s the best it can possibly be. Having a piece of your own completed writing in front of you helps you learn a lot about yourself as a writer. You can see exactly what your strengths and weaknesses are and what you need to work on. And because flash fiction is quicker to write, you could repeat this day after day to really improve your writing.
3. Writing flash fiction is a good way to establish yourself as a writer.
If you want to get your writing published, flash fiction could be an easier way to do it. Lots of publications are looking for flash-fiction pieces, and most of them publish a lot of pieces on a pretty regular basis. So you could have a better chance at getting your flash fiction traditionally published than your novel.
Writing flash fiction is a great way to practice essential writing skills and a great way to get your work published. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re working on a longer manuscript, it never hurts to write some flash fiction!
Maud Grauer, a content creator for Dot and Dash, wrote this article. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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