Skip to content

Why Flash Fiction?

Floating Island by Gale Titus
Floating Island by Gale Titus

Seems our literary focal length has gotten shorter over the years. Novellas are back–huzzah–and we’ve seen a welcome resurgence in short fiction since at least 2013. But Flash Fiction?

I love a variety of music, with lyrics being the one common denominator. I can pretty much listen to anything, if the lyrics say something. Good songs can convey a lot using a few words. And Flash Fiction is often not much more than a long song sans music. Not sure? Read the lyrics to Kate Bush’s wonderful ‘Cloudbursting.’ See what I mean?

One of my favorites on Twitter is #vss365 – Very Short Stories (VSS) 365 days a year. The thread restarts each day with a new prompt. Just search, write, read, enjoy, sleep, and repeat.

The average web page is 600 words, and most people scan less than a third of it before moving on. We speak at a rate of 150 to 200 words per minute, and read between 200-250 words per minute. The average internet video is 2 1/2 minutes long. No surprise then that the most popular Flash Fiction form clocks out and heads home after a mere 500 words.

All of which really means absolutely nothing. The simple truth is: People write Flash Fiction because it is fun–to write and to read. I love the challenge of trying to convey


using only


I think it is making me a better writer.

I know it is making me a better reader.

So I guess the question is really: Why not?

Excellent resources and support for writers of Flash Fiction at Poets & Writers Magazine

Want a daily dose of some really good speculative fiction? Subscribe to or just check out: Daily Science Fiction. Original Science Fiction and Fantasy every weekday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *