Hampton Roads Writers


Use the sentence in the next paragraph as inspiration for a fully plotted FLASH of 500 words or less. Leave out every superflous description and character movement that isn't vital to the plot. As unappealing as this may be to you poets and novelist, do it anyway since flash requires the tightest of tight writing. If you can't come up with an entire story of 500 words or less, create a less-completely-plotted vignette of at least 200 words.

"I can't stand it anymore!" she (he) yelled.

What do you suppose the character in the story can't stand? Another painful probing by alien abductors as she's tied to a table? Continuous harassment by classmates? More work thrown at her by her atrocious boss? More baby food slung into dad's hair? Maybe somebody is going crazy, and can't stand the voices in his head. Or perhaps someone's being harassed on the bus, as they commute to work.

If you can't develop a complete story of 500 words or less, try a 200 word vignette. Vignettes consist of words right off the top of your head. They don't have to make sense. They don't have to have a smashing opener and a rousing close. But they can be very useful tools that help develop a complete story later on.


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