Its National Flash Fiction Day today in the United Kingdom, celebrating the short, short form of fiction, the art of telling a story in less than 1,000 words and more often only 150 words.
David Gaffney shares his experience of writing and being published in the form and offers these tips:
- Start in the middle
- Don’t use too many characters
- Make sure the ending isn’t at the end
- Sweat your title
- Make your last line ring like a bell
- Write long, then go short
He goes on to explain each tip, click here to reveal his words of wisdom.
And here is my attempt to tell a story in 150 words, word by word.
I ride bareback with just a halter and lead into the midst of the herd, gently coaxing them out from under the trees. My mount quivers beneath me; fear pervades the damp atmosphere and I exhale deeply to expel it.
The sound of a gunshot spooks the stallion and the horses move. Bright sunlight extinguishes shadows as they bolt, branches cracking beneath the drum of hooves.
My father is in position. The herd veers to the right. At the river bank there is a two metre drop into the water and we do not hesitate. I grip hard with my knees and feel muscle ripple beneath me bracing itself for the jump. Something knocks my shoulder and I cry out as we plunge head first into the torrent.
“Wake up son, we’re mustering that herd of wild horses today” my father says as I open my eyes.