The choice is yours…

Flash fiction is a short, sharp, focussed look at something — it could be a person and their problem, or a situation that is getting worse, or better.

Whatever the subject, every word has to count.

One of my favourite flashes is My mother was an upright piano by Tania Hershman.

The beginning is immediate and intriguing.

‘My mother was an upright piano, spine erect, lid tightly closed, unplayable except by the maestro.’
This is such a stunning metaphor, the reader has no choice but to go on reading. Here’s the next line.
‘My father was not the maestro. My father was the piano tuner; technically expert, he never made her sing.’
I love it.
Sometimes a photograph can inspire a story.
The man below is going to cut coconuts. He’s climbing the tree with the help of special tree-grippers attached to his shoes.
What about the woman? She has to pick up the coconuts and carry a basketful on her head. Let your imagination loose on a picture, and very soon there’s a story there waiting to be told.


P1200640It helps to read a lot of flash. Study it. Are you drawn in? Gripped?




What makes the story work? Note the economy of words.


It will come as no surprise that Tania Hershman was the Grand Prize winner in the Binnacle 2009 Ultra-short Contest with My mother was an upright piano. This is now the title of a collection of stories available on Amazon. For more info on Tania see www.taniahershman.com and there are a couple more of her stories to sample at http://www.taniahershman.com/thewhiteroadflash.htm
There are daily flash stories on the web at http://flashfictionmagazine.com and you can sign up to have a fresh story sent every day. You might even want to join in.

Frog: (seriously)P1200844

One, two three, four, five…… I’m making every word count.