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Q: Flash stories ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Flash stories
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: ancientdragon-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 05 Mar 2004 22:23 PST
Expires: 04 Apr 2004 23:23 PDT
Question ID: 313977
What's the difference between a so-called "flash" story and what we
used to know as a "short-short"? Is there any? No speculation, please,
just an answer if you really know.
Subject: Re: Flash stories
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 05 Mar 2004 22:57 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
The terms "flash story" and "short-short" are pretty much
interchangeable, although "flash fiction" tends to be toward the brief
end of the scale:

"Vestal Review is a free quarterly e-zine devoted to what we consider
an underrepresented type of  fiction: flash (or short-short) stories.
A good flash, replete with a cohesive plot, rich language and enticing
imagery, is perhaps the hardest type of fiction to write. A good flash
is so condensed that it borderlines poetry. A good flash engages your
mind not only for the short duration of its read, but for a long time

Vestal Review

"A short story, unlike a novel, is expected to be efficient and
purposeful; it moves in a straight line. A short-short story
compresses the efficiency of a short story, so that it's either a
shorter straight line or a dotted line that leaves out segments of the
line so that the reader has to interpolate. A flash fiction is a
short-short at the even more efficient and compressed extreme."

ShortShortShort: Flash Fiction: Reading & Writing Very Short Stories

"Flash Fiction (also known as Short-Short Stories, Sudden Fiction, and
Furious Fiction) is a shorter, more compact version of the short
story. Its very brief length makes it one of the most challenging
forms of writing to partake in.

There is quite a lot of disagreement about the exact length a Flash
story should be. I have seen publishers' guidelines declaring it to be
anywhere from 100 to 1,000 words maximum. The most common maximum
length publishers request for Flash Fiction is 500 words."

Internet Writing Workshop: In a flash

"In general, flash fiction runs from as few as 100 words up to 1,000
or even 1,500 words (some more and some even much less). Flash
fiction, of course, goes far beyond a mere word count.

To complicate matters even further, flash fiction also carries many
names. Other names for it include short-short stories, sudden,
postcard, minute, furious, fast, quick, skinny, and micro fiction. In
France such works are called nouvelles. In China this type of writing
has several interesting names: little short story, pocket-size story,
minute-long story, palm-sized story, and my personal favorite, the
smoke-long story (just long enough to read while smoking a cigarette).
What's in a name? That which we call flash fiction, by any other name
would read as bright."

Writing World: Flashes On The Meridian: Dazzled by Flash Fiction

"Flash Fiction 

Definition: A very short shortstory, usually between 250-1000 words
and often less than 500 words.

Also Known As: short short story, short-short story, short short"

Creative Writing for Teens: Flash Fiction

You'll find many good links related to flash fiction here:

Red Inkworks: Flash Fiction

Google Web Search: "flash story OR stories OR fiction" + "short-short"

I hope this is helpful. If anything needs clarification, please don't
hesitate to ask.

Best regards,
ancientdragon-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
Just what I wanted, thx.  Guess I have been writng "flash stories" &
didn't even know it.

Subject: Re: Flash stories
From: pinkfreud-ga on 06 Mar 2004 17:44 PST
Thanks for the five-star rating and the tip!


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