Revision is key. No matter how short the text. The most delicate problem concerning flash fiction is it’s length. But especially when forced to concentrate to the bare bones, it is essential to tell a nice and entertaining story nonetheless.

Plot

To craft a satisfying story the beginning should point towards the ending. Hide some clues here and there. If you preferred to be surprised by your stories turns or you trashed your planned ending, you want to smooth the story according to it’s new final.

The few existing plot points should raise the tension and work toward the climax. If they don’t they need to be replaced, hardened, or fixed.

Length

Now the most critical point. Most writers struggle with too many words rather than too few. However, let’s start with the case of a flash fiction fallen too short.

Some texts function without exhausting the limit. But ask yourself whether the story might be improved by further raising the stakes, more dialog or atmospheric details.

For those with a text too long: there is no help, you need to cut. 501 words are not allowed, keep your goal of 500 words max. Which sentences won’t push the plot? Where could you spare adjectives and replace them with strong verbs? Which details may be fluffy but not necessary for your story?

Last Touches

At least use a spell check (you might have cheated by combining two words with a missing space). And the best tip for every text: read it out loud. This gives you a feel for clunky sentences or repeated words.

A finished flash fiction story is a nice little piece of craftsmanship. Add it to your portfolio, as a preview for your skills, or gift it to a loved one. Do you have special plans for finished flash fiction stories?

Revise a Flash Fiction Story

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