Flash Fiction

Technology increases the pace of our lives, and we hardly have enough time to read lengthy novels although we still like to read stories. Therefore, the story must be short and readable in a smaller amount of time. The answer is short story. Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Alen Poe, and other writers write short stories and flash fictions to quench the market demand. This is not, however, the beginning of such a literal constructions. In the tenth century AD, Attar, a Persian poet wrote lyrical flash fictions in The Conference of the Birds. Ferdosi, another Persian writer of the 10th century wrote The Shahnameh (The Book of the Kings). This book contains as many as sixty thousand epic, mythological, and historical couplets loaded with a wealth of philosophical and moral short stories, teachings and guidance. Rumi is another Persian poet who followed the same principles in his book, Masnavi in thirteen century AD.

Hugo and Nebula writing contests categorize short stories below 7500 words. The definition of “Flash Fiction” can be summarized as, a short short story, not more than a thousand words, with a complete structure such as plot, narrative, character, conflict, and resolution that can be read in one siting.

The differences between a short story and flash fiction lies in the development of the two forms and how deeply each element such as character, and plot are explored. Basically, the short story deals with a transient look into the life of a character with brief introduction, conflict, and resolution. Flash fiction, on the other hand, focuses on a single situation for the character such as only the dance scene in the romantic life of a character. Plot in a flash fiction is also less complex and the conflict and resolution are easier to understand.