apparently said that if he had had more
time, he would have written a shorter
With only several thousand words in which to
tell their stories, short fiction is an art
form in which every word counts. There
is little room for anything which doesn't
serve the story. A great short story is like
a slap in the face, brief enough to devour
in one sitting, leaving the reader gasping
at what can be done in just a few pages.
Flash fiction refines this even further.
Also known as short shorts, sudden fiction,
micro fiction, postcard fiction, prose
poems, these terms refer to stories which
are less than 1000 words long, and often
much much shorter. Every word, every comma,
every line break is crucial in these tiny
fictions. While their extreme brevity allows
for a looser definition of the
beginning-middle-end story structure, these
are not "fragments", they are complete unto
isn't something new, something invented by
the "Internet generation" to fit onto a tiny
cellphone screen or to suit increasingly
hectic lifestyles. Jorge Luis Borges,
Margaret Atwood, Richard Brautigan, Lydia
Davis and Raymond Carver are just some of
the "big names" whose flash fiction is
poetry in the way their language twists
and turns, flash fiction is increasing in
popularity and can be found in literary
magazines online and in print across the
world, in many languages. In China, these
tiny fictions are called "smoke-long"
because they can be read in the time it
takes to smoke a cigarette!
stories in The
White Road and Other Stories
fall into the category of flash fiction.
Read two examples: Plaits
am a Camera.
Many of the stories in my new collection, My
Mother Was An Upright Piano, would
also fit into this category.
More on flash fiction:
for many articles, discussions and flash
fiction resources, Writing-World's
article Flash What?, Writing Flash Fiction
on The Fiction Factor
some flash fiction: