5 Ways to Improve Your Flash Fiction

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Flash Fiction is emerging as a growing force in modern fiction. I don’t claim to be an expert, I’m always learning, but here are a few things I’ve found that have helped to improve my own Flash Fiction.

1. Be specific. Concrete details help ground your story in a real time and place for the reader. For example if you say a character is eating a Big Mac you know where they are very quickly.

2. Alliteration. This simple technique borrowed from poetry adds musicality to ordinary sentences. Example: ‘her eyebrows are perfectly plucked’. The letter ‘p’ is repeated here. Beware though, overuse of this is fatal.

3. Dialogue. What a character says gives us their personality very quickly as long as you give them a distinct voice.

4. Repetition. Another technique borrowed from poetry. Repeating a word or phrase can emphasize a detail but again overuse here is fatal.

5. Endings. These are the hardest things to get right in Flash Fiction, how do you know when to stop? I have found that less is more and if it feels right then stop. It is better to leave the reader with a question than to wrap it all up with a neat bow. I like ambiguity, the story should bleed into the reader’s life.

These are just some ideas that work for me, what works for you?

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