Prepared by: Eric Petersen
Exercise: In 500 words or less, write a flash fiction story that includes a beginning, a middle, and an end. One or more characters must be involved.
A flash story must begin immediately and move quickly toward the end--no long descriptions, no unessential words. The goal is to present a single effect resulting from a single cause. The character(s) must experience and react to events, and the outcome must be swift.
Use your own ideas or write a flash story based on the following scenario: a man notices a curious object abandoned on a park bench and investigates it. The object could be a toy that brings back happy or unhappy memories that cause him to make a choice, a document that sends him on a quest, or anything else that sets the story in motion.
Flash stories may be from 100 to 1,000 words long; publishers vary in their requirements. In this case, we chose the middle ground.
These exercises were written by IWW members and administrators to provide structured practice opportunities for its members. You are welcome to use them for practice as well. Please mention that you found them at the Internet Writers Workshop (http://www.internetwritingworkshop.org/).