Tagged: Tonya Thompson

Flash Fiction Tips from Tonya Thompson

You might be aware that I write flash fiction. A lot of flash fiction.

However, I don’t think I’ve ever really written a how-to on it, which seems like a bit of a missed opportunity given that people seem to be finding my Twine for Beginners series pretty helpful.

Someday I might get around to doing that, but in the meantime do have a look at Tonya Thompson’s How to Write Great Flash Fiction: 10 Things You Need to Know. Someone at ServiceScape actually got in touch inviting me to share it,* and having had a read through it really does tackle a lot of the points I think new flash fiction writers – particularly those who are new to writing in general – tend to struggle with. It’s also a handy introduction to the format, listing some of the reasons you might choose to write it.

The main drawback of the advice in this post is the same as the drawback to most writing advice: good fiction involves more than simply checking items off a list, and plenty of bad fiction ticks all those boxes. I’ve seen people absolutely butcher a sentence to get rid of an adverb! However, there’s a difference between choosing to ignore advice and simply being unaware of it, and if you’re writing for a competition then dropping a dozen adverbs can be the safest way of trimming a 1,012 word story down to the 1,000 word limit.

*ServiceScape aren’t paying me for this. I don’t even claim this is the best guide to flash fiction out there, it’s just the one that was put in front of me and it covers the topic well.