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  • Writer's pictureVendela Ahlström

Thoughts on Flash Fiction and Short Stories to Improve my Prose

I’m currently revising my notes on The Anatomy of Prose by Sacha Black. I’ve read about half of it, and now make notes on what I’ve highlighted.


I remember really taking notes of it when I first read it, but it stuck out to me even more now. Sacha Black recommends flash fiction in order to practice your writing. When I say writing, I mean prose. To make it sharper, to the point and cleaner. Basically how to practice writing by writing flash fiction and short stories to improve my prose.


We are all made of stories
We are all made of stories by Social Cut via Unsplash: https://unsplash.com/photos/FluPNkHfCTs


I’m getting my gamma feedback for Visions of Ravens soon, and I’m well aware that I need to cut down on words. I think I’m waffling quite a bit in certain passages and I need to strengthen and tighten my prose.

Sacha Black recommends flash fiction to make your writing sharper. And I’m reluctant. Not because I don’t believe her, but because I’ve always felt like flash fiction and short stories are a waste of time. Why write a few pages when you can spend that time on writing a full book? Time is precious.

But I know this is just a stubborn mind set. I don’t read a lot of short fiction in general (which I probably should) and so I don’t feel a yearning to write it either.

But I do think there’s a very good reason to do so. To get better at writing and editing. And it might be easier to learn how to edit prose in bite size chunks rather than a whole novel at a time. That way you don’t have to focus too much on plot, characterisation and setting, which I see as big parts of the revision process. It’s meant to be good practice.

I really should give short stories and flash fiction a go. Especially flash fiction. I think there might be something in that for me when it comes to honing my editing skills. It’s just hard to prioritise when you have a freaking book to finish.

What are your thoughts on this? I’d love to know? Have you tried flash fiction and what did you think about it?

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