I bet you didn’t know it, but today is National Flash Fiction Day—in Britain at least, but who says a Yank can’t celebrate it, too? It’s a day to celebrate flash fiction (also called short-short fiction and sudden fiction), which are stories clocking in at less than a 1,000 words.
It’s no secret I’m a fan of short fiction, and flash fiction is no exception, when it’s well done, that is. I think it’s hard to write effective flash because every word needs to pull its weight and then some. Good flash is moving and powerful, and it sticks with you longer than the five minutes it took to read it. It’s poetry without being poetry.
So today, I’ve got a challenge for you (I like a good challenge): write a flash story before the clock strikes midnight. It’s not more than 1,000 words, right? You can do it. I wrote one for last year’s National Flash Fiction Day, and I’m going to write one again this year. I’ll even throw out a prompt to get you started: “That’s my story, officer, and I’m sticking with it.” Use it if you like, and fell free to share your story in the comment section below (keep it clean, however, and remember if you post it here you’re likely giving away your first rights if you intend to try to sell it).
If you’re not up for writing a story, then read one instead. Everyday Fiction publishes flash every day (duh), Daily Science Fiction generally has flash Monday through Thursday, and Flash Fiction Online publishes several incredible stories per month.