Tip #33 Write a Drabble

What’s a Drabble you might ask? It a flash fiction story of 100 words. It’s not 99 words or 101 words, but it has to be exactly 100 words. Difficult. It’s the slam dunk of flash fiction writing. I haven’t written one yet, but could you write one? Jake Bible’s Dead Mech is written in a Drabble structure. 100 words per chapter. Here’s a link to Jake’s story: Dead Mechs.

Here are some examples:

If you are interested here’s Jake Bible’s Friday Night Drabble Party:

Here are some examples:

If you are interested here’s Jake Bible’s Friday Night Drabble Party:

Tip #32 Don’t Let Your Story Exceed 6 Words

The goal. The touchdown. The homerun.

Do you have chops like Hemingway?

Is it out of reach for you?

Write your six word story quickly.

Don’t look back. It doesn’t bite!

Here’s Hemingway’s famous story:

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Link to stories from the Huffington Post:

Tip #31 Don’t Let the Title Exceed 6 Words

Your title should be he best one. Ever! But don’t make to too long.

Your title should be the start of your story. These words are the first words of your story and first words your reader will see. But use too many words.

Limit your to six words. Long titles are great for doctoral thesis, but not for flash fiction.

All these stories have less than six words:

‘Dinosaur’ by Bruce Holland Rodgers:

‘The Outing’ by James Baldwin:

‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson:

Here is a wonderful writer discussing titles, Bruce Holland Rodgers. I have been lucky enough to include him in two anthologies: 

Here’s another article about titles from the University of Minnesota’s Center For Writing about titles: 

Tip #24 Give the Reader a Great Last Sentence

I have said it before and I will say it again. Leave the reader with a good ending to your story. It’s not going to be a twist then give them a great last sentence. Having a great last line in your story is a win for the reader and it’s also a win for you. 

More famous endings from great stories:

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

The Great Gatsby, F.Scott Fitzgerald

“After all, tomorrow is another day.”

Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

“He turned out the light and went into Jem’s room. He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.”

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

I know it’s easier said than done, but the last sentence is just as important as the first sentence. As a flash fiction writer you’re a fine craftman so give the reader your best work right until the end.

Tip #16 Use Flash Fiction to Jump Start your longer Fiction Career

You dream of writing novels, but you don’t want to jump into the literary deep end right away. Start small write flash fiction before you write your longer story. 

I recently watched a video with the artist Tracey Emim. A lifetime spent as an artist, she even even starts with a small drawing in her sketchbook before she tries to tackle her larger works. It’s not a bad idea to write a flash fiction story before you write your larger work.

I have ran seven marathons in my life. I didn’t start by running 26.2 miles. Some people can do it, but I’m not one of them. I had to start with a smaller story before I attempted writing a novel. Maybe it’s a good idea for you too.

Write a flash fiction first. It’s like a training run for a novelist. Those training miles will add up. You’ll see.

Here’s an article about the writing the best flash fiction: 

Tip #12 Skip the Back Story

Don’t know how characters got to this point. As a writer of flash fiction, there’s not enough room in your story to have a back story. Last night, I was watching the new series from the producers of the The Walking Dead television series. The new is called, Fear the Walking Dead. The majority of the episode was backstory, and there were only three zombies for the hour and half the show aired. We learned about everyone one of the main characters, but the zombies for the first episode were in the background. Our protagonists only fought one zombie. Why? Because the writers and producers of the show knew they had time for the zombies and to introduce the monsters gradually. In the original TV show, The Walking Dead, the main character, Rick woke up in the hospital and basically had to fight the zombies from the first few minutes of the episode’s beginning. He throw into the action. I think the second approach is better here, and Walking Dead is better than Fear the Walking Dead.

Which method is better, backstory or no backstory? In a novel, there’s plenty of time for backstory. As a writer, it’s up to you to make it work. In flash fiction, there’s no time. Have the plane crash, the spouse leaving, being fired from the job, or the barbarians storming the city’s gate at the front end of the story. Or someone just left the front door open… It will set the urgency for the story and draw the reader in right away.