Having the idea for a flash fiction is basically the whole plotting task. The biggest struggle might be to keep your story below the word count. Those 500 words are reached quicker than you think.
Every story has to answer the following questions:
- Who? (The main character, described with adjective and subject, i.e. a sleepy scavenger, forgetful witch, stressed space ship captain)
- Where? (Setting containing the genre. Be specific to save words; show the humming turbine of the warp unit instead of telling about the space ships position in the galaxy)
- What? What is the characters problem? His unfulfilled desire? (This works as the pattern for the stories conflict. What does the character want and why can’t he get it? I.e. the sleepy scavenger wants to sleep but has to work an extra shift)
The story should not depend on long, details explanations and make use of no more than two characters. There is no space for additional components.
Depending on the chosen word count a flash fiction takes no longer than an hour to write. To get the most out of this writing exercise, take special care to the texts parts: intro, main part and end. And as the title does not count into the words, use it wisely to add meaning or a nice twist.
Title: The perfect opportunity to add a hidden meaning or foreshadowing to the story.
Intro: Introduce the protagonist and her problem.
Main part: Use conflicts to worsen the problem.
End: Resolve the problem.
Especially with flash fiction it might work well to start with the initial situation and let your writing take the lead through the story.
Do you already know how to end your flash fiction or will the end take you by surprise?