Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Guest post: Basic Flash Fiction Writing by Dianne G. Sagan

My guest this month is Dianne G. Sagan, author and speaker. One of her books is a collection of 100 word flash fiction tales. She and four other women from her critique group wrote these stories over a matter of months. Each set of stories shares four or five common words 
Basic Flash Fiction Writing

Flash fiction is a term for short stories that are no longer than 1,500 words. Some are even termed micro- or mini- stories because they are no more than 100 words. It’s important to remember that each story must have all the same requirements as a longer piece – characters, scene, conflict, resolution.  Each flash fiction story must include the story elements that are included in longer pieces: setting, plot, characters, conflict, and resolution. Have fun with it. 

STEP I: Decide what you want your flash fiction story about. If you have a favorite genre like mystery, thriller, or romance, then write a story in that genre.

STEP 2: Write down some notes to get your story arc started. It can be an informal list of ideas to include in the story. 

STEP 3: Write a short bio of your main character and antagonist or villain. This helps you develop your characters.

STEP 4: Write a first draft of your story. Allow yourself to write whatever comes out for this first draft. Then, put it aside for a little while so you can come back to it with fresh eyes.

STEP 5: Read your story and see what works and what doesn’t. Clarify anything that seems confusing. Be sure to check for spelling or grammar mistakes. Share it with some fellow writers for feedback.

STEP 6:  Now, rewrite your story with the revisions and corrections you decided on from the original draft. Remember the key is to use a few words and still tell a good story.

For another interesting author interview, drop by Virginia Grenier's blog where Darcia Helle will be talking about her latest book.


  1. Dianne, this sounds like a fun project and a great book for people on the run. There's always time somewhere in your day to read a flash fiction piece.

    Magdalena, thanks for sharing this with us today.

  2. Flash fiction sounds like fun to write, but challenging. I wonder if picture books can be considered part of that genre. ;-)

  3. Doing flash fiction with your critique group sounds like so much fun! Thanks Dianne and Magdalena.

  4. Flash fiction sounds very interesting. And, joining forces with your critique group sounds like a great way to create a book.

    Thanks for sharing the basics of writing in that genre.

    I love the cover.

  5. Thanks to all of you who visited and made comments. It was such a fun process to write thee short-shorts. It's a nice break from longer pieces. Also, thanks to Magdalena for having me.

  6. Your critique group sounds like a lot of fun! Such talented women!