Flash Fiction Definition and Example

Flash Fiction Definition and Example

Paper details:

  1. Write 1,500-2,000 words (6-8 pages) about what qualities you think that all great fiction possesses, using correct MLA format, 8th edition.
  2. Quote from AT LEAST FOUR of the literary works we discussed, listing them as examples of what good writers should or should not do.
  3. After you support your thesis about what qualities all great fiction possesses, introduce a sample of your own writing: a flash fiction story. Share with your readers how easy or difficult it was for you to embody in that story all the qualities that you think a great literary work has.

Flash Fiction Definition and Example


Flash fiction is very short, usually not more than one or two pages. A writer tells a story with a beginning, middle and end with an economy of words. It’s not easy to write flash fiction, and it’s especially challenging to write flash fiction that is not more than 300 words in length. But let’s see what you can do, all right? Include a flash fiction story in your paper that is not more than 300 words.


Blank and Perfect  (300 Words Without Title)

Nuala Lincke-Ivic

She’s blank and perfect: a tabula rasa and young-and-pretty. How can he resist her? He can stamp her with his opinions and kiss her lips that have known no other man, make her breathe hard just by playing with her hair with one hand, curling it round his fist as they sit at the café table. He gets to be omnipotent with her, a god. At least until she wises up, gets the little bit of mileage on her that he will give her. Wakes up and smells the coffee: He’s nothing special; all men can do to her what he does to her. All men want to do what he does to her.

The older woman watching the older man and the woman-child tightens her lips, a thin line, as she stares at the pair and thinks. She’s not sure if she’s envious of or sorry for the woman-child. Once she had been that girl. Until she wised up, of course, woke up and smelled the coffee. And he stopped being her god. But for that little time, almost a year, when he had been her god…she had loved him, loved him with that kind of blind, unquestioning adoration that a small child feels for a parent. And it had been rapturous.

She muses. Could she ever go back to that happy dream; being as she once was? No. Because you cannot stop the march of time. Nobody can. And everybody has feet of clay.

But as he slides his fingers down the girl’s hair, one-handed, she can see how the girl’s breath catches in her throat, and for one moment she is that girl again; she is bright and shiny and new, and her whole world is his eyes, warm and still upon her.

Suggested Structure: What Qualities Does a Great Literary Work Possess?

  1. Start with your thesis that addresses these questions:

What is “good writing”: the kind of poem, story, play, novel or screenplay that you like and think is worth reading? Should it be meaningful for the reader, relevant to his or her life–and should it be engaging, an interesting read? And … should it forge an emotional connection with the reader?

  1. Write a map paragraph in which you provide author names/titles of our literary works that you will discuss in your essay to explain what good writing is/is not.
  2. Discuss and quote from the works in the order in which you presented them in your map–and in the process, support your thesis. (You will want to use more than one paragraph in this part of your paper. Build transitions between the paragraphs. And make sure you don’t make the reader wade through a longgg paragraph that is densely packed with information and quotations, and therefore difficult to follow. Feed your thoughts to readers in bite-size pieces, okay?)
  3. Via a short transition paragraph, introduce a piece of your own writing–a flash fiction story.
  4. Add your flash fiction story.
  5. Create a question/answer transition after your story that indicates you want to discuss how easy or difficult it is to write great fiction. Example: Now … was it easy for me to write the kind of literary work that I find aesthetically worthy–or “great”?
  6. Discuss how easy or difficult it was for you to embody in your flash fiction story all the qualities that you think a great literary work has. Conclude with your ideas about what is required for a writer to produce a great work of fiction: not just talent and technical skills–but inspiration? What do YOU think?
  7. Create a Works Cited for all the literary works you quote and also your own flash fiction story.