Friday, 28 March 2014

The Illustrated Word ~ Flash Fiction

One of the first known usages of the term "flash fiction" as a literary style was in the 1992 anthology Flash Fiction: Seventy-Two Very Short Stories, edited by James Thomas. The term "short story" was the most common term until about 2000, when it was truly overtaken by "flash fiction".

In China, the style is often called "smoke long" or "palm-sized", with the comparison being that the story should be finished before the reader could finish smoking a cigarette.

There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category; however, many publishers impose caps as low as three hundred words, while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction.

There is something very satisfying about working to condense a text into a few hundred words, paring and cutting the narrative while staying true to the story.

One of the most famous pieces of flash fiction is Ernest Hemingway’s six word story (he considered it one of his best works). It simply reads - For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.

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