In the spirit of Flash Fiction, this post will be 500 words or less. The previous words count. So do these. You get the idea.
Everyday, I have a short story delivered to my email from Daily Science Fiction. The stories are witty, perverse, thought-provoking, charming, silly and everything in between. I enjoy my daily dose of science fiction, and always feel satisfied with my use of three to five minutes time. I also enjoy reading Asimov’s Science Fiction. Check out my post Why I Write Science Fiction and Fantasy to learn why.
After years of reading other authors’ short stories, I have decided to try my hand at my own. The task seems nye on impossible. A 50,000 word Middle Grade novel? Not a problem! But flash fiction? I have attempted writing picture books in the past and can admire anyone who manages to paint a world in 300 words or less.
But, I am up to the task.
Holly’s Writing Classes.com offers a step-by-step tutorial on How to Write Flash Fiction that Doesn’t Suck. Since this is exactly what I wanted to do, I signed up with my email, and voila, I was on my way. Each part of the class becomes available in stages, allowing you enough time to finish the worksheets and exercises before moving on to the next step. Everything is clearly laid out, and well explained. In addition, Holly has a sense of humor about the whole writing process that any writer can appreciate.
By signing up for the class, you also get access to a forum for discussions with fellow ‘students’ on writing, the classes and marketing. The website is currently in Beta, and works just fine, but will be upgrading any time now.
So far, I have been working on the Week 1 worksheets with some success. I have several premises that I am excited to explore, and have even written 180 words of my first official flash fiction story.
Just like when writing a picture book, every word counts. The story must have a beginning, middle and an end. The main character must have some kind of arc or journey. Perhaps even a surprise ending. When you only get 500 words, 180 can seem like a monumental climb!
Already have some flash fiction in your pocket?
Here are a few websites that you can submit to:
Daily Science Fiction – Submit stories and artwork: 100 – 1500 words, 8 cents per word
Flash Fiction Online – Submit stories: 500-1000 words $60 per story
Every Day Fiction – Submit stories: 50 – 1000 words $3 per story
These are just a few popular sites, but there are dozens of flash fiction websites out there you can submit to with just a bit of googling. The climb may be steep, but the view from the top is glorious.
p.s. This blog post comes in at 498 words. Sweet.