MPL Writers Group

A Beginner’s Guide to Flash Fiction

When you hear the words “flash fiction,” what is your first thought? Is it fiction done in a flash? That is close as flash fiction, by definition, is a very short story.

A flash fiction story does not have a word limit but it never runs beyond a page. Flash fiction contains a whole plot with a beginning, middle, and end. Most importantly, flash fiction has a surprise, or a “sudden effect” in form of a final line or plot twist. A shorter version of flash fiction is known as microfiction, which some sources state it should be no longer than one hundred words in length and its even shorter variant, nanofiction or even twitterature.

One of the more famous examples of nanofiction, or the six word story, is found below, author unknown:


“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”


Flash fiction is one of the more challenging yet rewarding mediums to write because the goal is to tell a complete story with as few words as possible. 

To write successful flash fiction, focus on a moment and work with only a few characters. Focus on the twist/surprise as that will help make your flash fiction piece pop out with readers. The title is also important when writing flash fiction as it would fit the theme and help make the story stand out. 

It takes a lot of practice and experimentation to write effective flash fiction. You might find that despite word limits, flash fiction and its shorter variants are fun to write. There are also various flash fiction journals that you can submit to if you are interested in performing this kind of writing.

For more information on flash fiction, be sure to check out the Additional Resources at the end of this blog post.



Additional Resources

MasterClass – Writing 101: What Is Flash Fiction? Learn To Write Flash Fiction In 7 Steps – How to Write Flash Fiction Stories

Reedsy – What is Flash Fiction? And How To Write It Yourself

The Writer- Expert tips for writing the best flash fiction

Jericho Writers – Writing Flash Fiction: A Complete Guide