As one of my writing resolutions for this year is to enter more competitions, I thought I'd start with the Brighton Cow 250 word competition that I mentioned recently.
Only once have I ever managed to do well with this very short story formula and that was because the character, Lola de Cortez (Positive Exposure) almost jumped out of my head and whacked me around the ear with her steel re-enforced corset. Since then I've struggled.
So with a deadline of the end of January I need to get on...
Knowing a number of writers who are very good at creating stories in 200 words, I asked them for any tips they could give to help me improve- or at least work out where I'm going wrong (I think it's characterisation again).
I'm very grateful to AJ Humpage who has kindly allowed me to reproduce the summary of her blog post on the subject. While she writes a darker form of fiction, the advice still applies whatever your subject or genre.
If you'd like to read the whole post with further explanations and I'd recommend it, you will find it here.
Otherwise here is the summary of the main points to aim for when writing flash fiction.
- Use a great opening line or hook.
- Use a powerful image for your story.
- Keep the reader guessing - Include a twist at the end, if possible.
- Be tight, be concise – limit adjectives and adverbs.
- Brevity – can you use fewer words?
- Beginning, middle and satisfactory ending – complete the story arc.
- Edit and revise.
Next month I'll tell you whether I managed it and whether it was sent off in time.