CHAPTERS 6 & 7 ("First Few Lines" & "I Want It But I Can't Have It...")
CHAPTERS 8 & 9 ("Kaye's Rule of Six C's" & "Compressed Scene/Story Line")
CHAPTERS 10 & 11 ("Stimulus/Response, Chronological Order" & "Whose Story Is it?")
CHAPTERS 12 & 13 ("Moving the Story Forward" & "The Shape of Flash")
CHAPTERS 14 & 15 ("Consequences of Desire Thwarted" & "Characters")
CHAPTERS 16 & 17 ("Setting, Weather, and Crowds as Characters" & "A Sense of Meaning")
CHAPTERS 18 & 19 ("Point of View" & "Tense Choice")
CHAPTERS 20 & 21 ("The Ticking Clock" & "Chekhov's Gun")
CHAPTERS 22 & 23 ("Don't Underestimate Your Reader" & "Word Weight")
CHAPTERS 24 & 25 ("Concrete Details/Imagery" & "CUT Adverbs/Adjectives")
CHAPTERS 26 & 27 ("Dialogue" & "The Verb 'To Be'")
CHAPTERS 28 & 29 ("Subtext/Implication/Backstory" & "Myths and Tales")
CHAPTERS 30 &31 ("Surprise the Reader & "Sentence Structure/Phrases")
Here's an interesting fixed form for you to work with:
With each new sentence, double the word count of the sentence before.An example:
One. One story. Of black teeth revealed. Black teeth revealed behind luscious wet red lips. Lips parted, seductive, her chiseled face in a bar, mirrored behind one glass, smudged with lipstick.Fixed forms are fun. They unleash the wild muse.
An example, one of my experimental flash nonfiction pieces that won first prize in Bacopa Literary Review's 2015 annual contest for creative nonfiction, is here. I wrote the flash in one sentence, an experimental handling of form. The one-sentence structure reflects the continuity of the tattoo patterns over a man's body.
Prompt: Turn the timer on for 5 minutes. Write about an epiphany or "aha" moment you had had, but write it in a long sentence. Don't think too much, just write.
Read, read, read flash fiction and nonfiction flash stories and learn from the masters.
Borrow techniques, initiate variations and deviate with your ideas while you practice from famous examples and develop a unique flash style. Join flash critique groups either in your town, online or take classes. Start your own critique group.
In the next blog post you'll find a list of resources that include a sprinkling of flash writers and their work.
Prompt: Study a tiny story by a famous flash writer and substitute each word with your own. Warning: Be careful not to plagiarize or copy any other writings.
There are sites online, such as Grammarly.com, where you can copy and paste your work to make sure you have not plagiarized by mistake.