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Three Extremely Short Flash Fiction Stories by cam

Chris has written more than 300 flash fiction/short stories. Working Vacation was 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.

About Very, Very Short...............Stories


Author's Note

Many flash fiction writers find it both amusing and challenging to write the shortest story they can manage while still having all the elements of a story. Of course a lot of information has to be implied by the writer and inferred by the reader, but the basics should be present in the story.

Here are two older stories of mine and one new one. I hope you enjoy them and I look forward to your feedback, especially on the one called Disparity, which is my newest story.

Whiskey Bottle Blues

Just a Little Rock

Elements of a Story

How is such a short story written? Editing is the key. I find it helpful to write the first draft as fully as I want and then begin taking out adverbs, unnecessary adjectives and any other superfluous words I can find. Whole sentences soon fall prey to the delete button.

This exercise teaches me to pay attention to what I'm writing, what words I'm using, how I'm describing action. I can then carry this over to all my writing, making everything much more streamlined.

Go back up and look at my stories. Can you see anyplace I could make changes so that they would be shorter, yet still tell the story? Let me know, I'd love to edit some more.

The Challenge

You give it a try now. See how short a story you can write, yet still tell a whole story. What are the elements to a complete story? Lists of story elements generally contain the following points.

  • Characters
  • Setting/place
  • Conflict, including resolution
  • Plot or unfolding events

If you try this, I'd love to see what you've done. Please leave me a comment with the title of your hub and I will link to it from here. It is difficult on HubPages, because if a hub is too short, it gets a warning. I've resolved the problem in this hub by doing some instructing about the process of writing short flash fiction. Use your imagination and get a hub with enough content to get by the hub police.

Participants in the Challenge

Annart-XXS Fiction: Extremely short flash fiction; Oppression, Slavery & a smidgeon of Hope

Jodah-Small Stories (Five Short Flash Fiction Stories by Jodah)

VenkatachariM-Three Small Flash Fiction Stories

Scroll to Continue


gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on December 03, 2018:

Chris Mills, Please never be sorry at all. What you have given me is the practical lesson on how to be in the real and imaginary world. Thank you.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on December 02, 2018:

I'm sorry, I should have clarified that. Michael has read a lot here, but you are correct, he has not done any writing. It is the reading and interaction that has helped him. I have asked him to do some writing, but so far he has declined. Possibly in the future sometime.

gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on November 07, 2018:

Michael Milec has not written any article here. He has been here for 6 years!

gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on November 07, 2018:

Thank you for your blessing and inspiring words. I will visit Michael Milec right now. Thank you again

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 07, 2018:

Slog away, my friend, and good luck. Keep reading and writing. Your ability to communicate in English will improve. Our friend, Michael Milec is proof of that.

gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on November 07, 2018:

Chris Mills , Thank you for your willingness to help me. But I have fear that in doing so, Hubpages may terminate my account. Meanwhile, I need slog hard and practice my craft. Thank you

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 07, 2018:

Patricia, art or homework? I'm not sure which to be honest. But they are certainly enjoyable to write. Give it a try sometime. Who knows, it may open up a new dimension of your writing for us to see.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 07, 2018:

gyanendra mocktan, this is a good site for you to write your stories. If you want, send them to me first. I will make suggestions and you can rewrite them before posting.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 07, 2018:

Very tiny short stiries are an art...well done. Some day I may try. I really am not such a great fiction writer. Angels headed your way this

gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on November 06, 2018:

Thank you cam8510 for your advice on writing. I hope soon I will be able to write and importantly the readers will understand what mean say. Your guidance in writing is precious to me. Thank you.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 06, 2018:

gyanendra mocktan, First of all, I would not begin writing flash fiction this short. Begin with stories of 1,000 words. You can tell a story in that many words, and it is still a challenge. When you are accustomed to beginning the story very far into the actual story line, and to leaving out a lot of detail, then go for shorter stories. Also keep in mind, there is not much use in stories of a hundred words or fewer. It is a challenge, yes, but other than improving your writing skills for short fiction, they are of little use.

gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on November 05, 2018:

Hello Chris, Thank you for your tips here. I am slogging to get through. My flash fictions are just on my notebook. I have posted here. But I have to through improving them Thank you

manatita44 from london on December 06, 2017:

Nice. I won't make them any shorter. They are short enough as it is. Ruby used to do a few, let's say about 150 words, I believe. Many writers like about 500. I favour between 750 and 1000. I like to do a really good job.

Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on September 23, 2015:

Hi Cam - Do the really short ones start in the middle and are some like riddles? The one with the glasses is difficult to figure out. I guess I have never read this kind of fiction, so the concept is new. They are very interesting, and I like the story about the submerging car. Thanks for sharing. Blessings, Audrey

Bill Russo from Cape Cod on July 21, 2015:

Hello Chris. I just challenged myself to write 3 stories of 100 words each and one of them had to be true. Poking around after uploading the stories I found this excellent hub. I am not very savy about computers like John is so I don't know how to put a link in here to my stories but my name is Bill Russo and the title of my flashes is "In a land where you cannot flip a coin." I would love to hear what you think.

Julie K Henderson on May 11, 2015:

You are most welcome.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on May 11, 2015:

Julie, I'm glad you liked this very short story. Thanks for visiting my hub.

Julie K Henderson on May 10, 2015:

"Just A Little Rock" is fantastic. Well done. I love the brevity and punch in this story.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on April 16, 2015:

wingedcentaur, thanks for reading these short flash fiction stories and for the votes. Twilight Zone was what I was aiming for in the third story. Glad it came across that way.

William Thomas from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things! on April 16, 2015:

Nice job, Cam! I voted this overall hub 'up,' 'useful,' as in instructive, and 'awesome.'

I especially like the Disparity story. That story is some Twilight Zone stuff, for real!

Take it easy. :)

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on April 09, 2015:

Deb, Yes, the first two have been around for a while. The last one is new and still needs some work. Thanks for reading.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on April 09, 2015:

I remember some of your shorts. Those are all quite good.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on April 07, 2015:

amazing short stories with interesting facts to learn. Voted up

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on March 31, 2015:

Chris Mills, I have done my attempt at it and published it at 12 midnight as per my IST time. The link is here

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 31, 2015:

Venkatachari M, nice to see you here today. Im glad you enjoyed my stories. Why don't you give these short fiction stories a try?

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on March 29, 2015:

Awesome challenge. So tiny flash fiction stories with full meaning. It's exciting to read them and know about flash fiction. Thanks for sharing it. Voted up and awesome.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 29, 2015:

Ann, I already read your stories and left a comment. Thanks for taking part.

Ann Carr from SW England on March 29, 2015:

Hi Chris! I've had a go at this. Mine is entitled 'XXS Fiction.....'

Thanks for the challenge.


Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 29, 2015:

Mary, a lot of editing is involved here. It really is a worthy exercise to see how many words we typically use that are unnecessary. It's also a lot of fun. I still encourage you to give it a try. I'm thinking about moving this challenge to the forums. The stories would be short enough to be posted there, read and commented on. Watch for it and maybe you will change your mind. Thanks for reading and for your comments.

Mary Craig from New York on March 29, 2015:

Amazing! I can't believe how short and sweet these stories are. They make their point so easily.

I love writing exercises but I'm not so sure I'm up to this challenge. A lot of talent is involved here and you have it!

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 28, 2015:

Randy, I'm in Fox Chase/Burholme area, NE Philly.

Randy Horizon from Philadelphia on March 28, 2015:

Yes Chris we should get together before you leave. I live in Willow Grove and work in Warrington. Not sure where you live, but it takes me about a half hour to drive to center city, in good traffic. Not far at all. I'll send you an email. I started on a flash fiction last night, but can still make it shorter, as soon as I have some time to write again. Heading to work in a few minutes. I'll pop you an email later.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 28, 2015:

John, I read your stories and left a comment. This is a lot of fun, and you did very well. I'm going to rewrite Disparity again, not so much to make it shorter as to make it read better. It might even gain a word or two in the process. Thanks for taking up the challenge.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on March 28, 2015:

Hi Chris, I love these stories. I thought I had commented previously but obviously not. I had read "Just a Little Rock" previously. "Disparity" is good too. Anyway I have taken up your challenge. Here's my response:

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 27, 2015:

Randy, That photo was one I got off Wikimedia Commons. It was as close as I could get to what the story called for. Sorry that threw you. Definitely give ff a shot. By the way. If I understand your location, we are only about seven miles or so apart. We should definitely get together before I leave at the end of May.

Randy Horizon from Philadelphia on March 27, 2015:

Well done Chris, these are really short. The picture in Disparity threw me a bit because there are 3 images in the mirror and the way you did their faces is great. I liked the Whiskey Bottle Blues best. But Disparity made me think the most. You have a great imagination. Some day I may try my hand at flash fiction? If I do I'll ask your opinion.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 27, 2015:

Ann, Disparity is definitely short on information. Both characters had their own worlds in which they lived. Either one could have been wearing the glasses and the other not. It was the fact that each thought the other was a lifeless reflection, that was the central point. Imagine looking in the mirror and seeing a neck tattoo that you don't have, or seeing different colored eyes or a movement you didn't make. It can get a bit creepy if I dwell on it too much. Thanks for reading.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 27, 2015:

Ruby, Just for fun is one of the few reasons for writing stories this short. The other reasons are to teach ourselves to write tighter, more streamlined stories of any length. It teaches us how to edit mercilessly. That's why I do it. Thanks for reading.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 27, 2015:

Eric,Maybe not a critic, but you are a great encourager. Thanks for reading once again.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 27, 2015:

Shauna, stories as short as these and the ones you attempted are nearly impractical as stories. I personally write them for the challenge and for what the process teaches me. I'm not so sure there is a future in writing twenty or thirty word stories. But I would encourage people to use it as a way of sharpening their skills. Thanks for reading.

Ann Carr from SW England on March 27, 2015:

I love all of these because they make you think, work it out, then go back to see if you've got it right or if any other interpretations can be made. Great!

Disparity - this one, I thought that the disparity could be that the mirror person thought one of two things: 'I'm wearing glasses!' or 'I'm not wearing glasses!' I presume it would be the former. It kind of tied my mind in knots because the title infers that it could be either. (The photo confused with more than one person - but that is a disparity too!)

Well edited because there is much info in each, in so few words.

This is fun. I've seen such things before of course but I've never tried them. I'll see what I can do in between awaiting arrival of daughter's baby and helping out with the other two!


Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on March 27, 2015:

I liked the whiskey bottle blues better. I prefer short stories over flash fiction, although I do like a surprise twist at the end. I may try this just for fun....

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 27, 2015:

I ain't much of a critic. I just enjoyed all three. And I liked the information about short stories, I think it will help me appreciate them more.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on March 27, 2015:

My favorite of the three is Whiskey Bottle Blues. I find it very difficult to write short, short stories. I sent a couple of entries in to Readers Digest, which asks for 100 words or less. I had a very hard time whittling them down. They also weren't accepted. :-(

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 26, 2015:

Frank, that's how I feel. It really is the most complete of the three. Thanks for reading the stories.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on March 26, 2015:

this is interesting concept the woman in the car as a passenger that short story spoke more volumes than the others... so that one was anchored as a perfect example..yes?

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 26, 2015:

pstraubie, I'm with you. These are fun to read and write for fun, but for pleasure, reading longer stories is very nice. Give it a try sometime, though. It's fun seeing where and how much things can be cut out.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on March 26, 2015:

RQ, if nothing else, this is a good exercise for writing of all kinds. But you are right, applied to flash fiction, the stories become much more powerful. Thanks for reading.

Romeos Quill from Lincolnshire, England on March 26, 2015:

An interesting read Chris. You've stripped these right down to the bone. I've heard that brevity is the soul of wit; if applied to flash fiction, it might provide an explosive combo.

Best Wishes;


Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on March 26, 2015:

Well they are short, sweet and to the point. A novel idea for those who wish to venture there...

Maybe one day I shall.

But really I like to read a story that goes on a bit longer D

Thanks for sharing..quite clever

Angels are on the way this evening ps

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