One of the hallmarks of a great writer is the ability to create compelling content that immediately grabs the attention of the reader.
This is true in practically any type of writing, whether it is for magazines, corporate clients, or your own blog or website. The writer who fails to keep the reader intrigued will have a hard time finding anyone who will pay for his work. Not if he wants to earn more than $5 for 500 words. And you can’t build a serious writing business at those rates.
Flash fiction is a great exercise in writing engaging content that reels the reader in and keeps him hooked all the way to the end. It is a complete story in under 1000 words.Good flash fiction has to start with a bang, raise the level of conflict, and bring everything to a satisfying close as quickly as possible.
Here are some ways flash fiction can benefit the freelance writer
Any Writing Is Good Writing – Sort Of
The most common advice I see on blogs and writing forums for writers to improve their craft is to simply write. And write some more. This is good advice, but there is one caveat: You must approach your writing critically, looking for things to improve in your work with each new piece of content you create.
One of the best ways to do this is to put your writing where others will see it. Every bit of criticism you collect on your writing is an opportunity to get better, either by improving what doesn’t work or keeping what does.
Flash fiction is a different style of writing that will help you to stretch your creative muscles in ways that you aren’t used to (unless you’re already proficient at flash fiction writing). Allowing others to comment on your work will help you stretch these muscles even more.
You Will Learn To Hook Your Reader
Getting the attention of your audience from the start is critical if you want to create compelling content that achieves it’s purpose. You don’t want to lose your audience before they have a chance to take your Most Wanted Response (MWR).
This is also important in flash fiction because you only have so much space to get the reader invested in the story. This is important in longer fiction as well, but you have more of an opportunity to make up for a poor start. If your reader sticks with you long enough.
Stick The Landing
The end of a blog post, article, or sales letter is the time to amp it up and go in for the hard close. If your reader has stuck with you to the end you know he is probably interested in what you have to offer, so this is where you need to ask for the sale.
The ending is also incredibly important in flash fiction. Here, you are selling your ability to bring the story to a satisfying resolution. The ending is often the hardest part of a story to write. If you fail here your reader may decide to write you off, even if the rest of the story was excellent.
And please, stay away from the OMG it was a dream the whole time sequence. Seriously.
Have you tried your hand at flash fiction? Let me know your experiences in the comments.