Draft a Flash Fiction Story

Depending on the time available to you, the first draft of a flash fiction story might be completed in just one sitting. Carve out some time and keep a look at your word count while you write.


Writing the intro to a flash fiction story is a good exercise to get your introduction on point. Use no more than one paragraph to show the reader your protagonist, the setting and the problem. Keep in mind, that you only have 500 words for the whole story, so don’t use more than 100 words in this first part. A word processor with an attached word count might come in handy.

Main Part

Pick up the problem from your introduction and make it worse. Get your protagonist further away from her goal and keep an eye on your word count. You want to have roughly 150 words left for the end.


With the remaining words, write the end to your short short story. Try not to make it too obvious. If you have trouble to come up with a satisfying ending, brainstorm several of them. Write down those you don’t want to write, the obvious and ugly ones.
In the end your protagonist might succeed at last, loose in a phenomenal way, or solves his problem in a rather unexpected way.


I have found it very useful to get a feeling for this specific text length of 500 words. Especially when writing longhand, you might want to know how many words your pages produce.
For me, one page of longhand writing adds up to roughly 500 words. That said, my flash fictions better not expand this one page. Well if it does, the revision step is there to fix it.

Also keep track on the time you need for this text length. With my fast typing, it took me 15 – 30 minutes to write a flash fiction story, as long as I don’t get lost in brainstorming.

Do you work better with planing ahead or is this short text your perfect opportunity for diving head first in a new, shiny idea? I ended up with some unfinished stories that way, but everybody is different.


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