Flash fiction, or postcard fiction, is a genre of fiction with a short word-length limit, usually under 500 words, but sometimes under 250 words or 1000 words, depending on the source.
This genre of fiction requires attention to detail and a willingness to compress experience. Short fiction is not easier to write than long fiction, at least for most people. Excess, a sin in some artistic orientations, is nearly impossible in flash fiction. The brevity of this genre makes it attractive to periodical and web publishers.
Finding flash fiction online is not difficult; I suspect the Internet has made flash fiction attractive because of the interest in blogs (which usually have short entries). There is now a national day in the UK (with a contest). A writer for the Guardian chronicles his attempt at generating a series of short short fiction (and he does quite well).
I have downloaded an app called Flash Fiction Prompter that generates prompts. Nothing about the generator makes the prompt more amenable for very short fiction only, but it works. I gave it try and wrote a 250-word story. I gave my iPhone a shake and got these results:
Character: Male Stripper
Plot: A character's son or daughter is recruited into a [the plot description ends here]
Off the Guest List
Enterr didn’t hear about his son Melvin’s wedding until the day of. His boss Gina was chatting with him in the break
between his nooner routine and his teatime routine, and she said she noticed a
wedding announcement in the paper. (She did crossword puzzles.)
"Can't be too many people out there with the last name 'Here,'"
Gina told Enterr.
Enterr immediately called a cab and went to the Church of God's Children.
The church was in an old strip mall next to a tattoo parlour. The doors were
locked. “So, it is a cult after all,”
He waited outside until the doors opened. The first people out were
his son Melvin and a woman Enterr didn't recognize. Both wore white robes. A
small crowd of guests in church attire followed, throwing rose petals.
"Mel!" Enterr shouted.
Melvin turned around and saw Enterr. Melvin's mouth dropped
open. The guests stopped throwing petals and stared.
Enterr looked down.
He was wearing his teatime costume: a tophat, an unbuttoned tuxedo jacket
and bowtie over a sparkling mesh t-shirt with bell-pull tassels sewn where his
nipples were. He wore spats with black sequined socks and garters that went up
to the tops of his legs, held up at the waist by a silvery belt. He wore a tiny
After a long silence, Melvin said, “Well, at least you wore a tie.”
snopes.com about it). To see some flash fiction with less controversial authorship, see http://flashfictiononline.com/main/