I' am used to write short stories, to quickly set a plot and develop the story, but this time I have to do it in less than 1000 words, which is (IMO) really short !

So my question is, what approach should I take in my writing ? do I have to set a plot here, with a final twist (but is it even possible in so few words) or does it have to be a slice of life kind of story ?

If there's any advices or examples you know It would be helpful for me.

  • This is a broad question. You can do either of the things you're suggesting, or neither. It depends on your idea, your characters, and your setting. Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 14:30
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    If you want to get inspired with minimal effort, you can read 50-word stories here (scottishbooktrust.com/writing/love-to-write/…). The quality on that page is hit-and-miss, but some are excellent. The one by Jenna Burns, for example. You can read 75-word stories here (neonmagazine.co.uk/?p=4857) and here (neonmagazine.co.uk/?p=6490). I'll say nothing about quality for the last one since one of them's mine! But hopefully this shows what you can do in a very small number of words.
    – Cakebox
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 16:04
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    You'll find lots more advice on Google if you search for 'flash fiction'. Hope that helps.
    – Cakebox
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 16:05
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    This is a somewhat broad question, but I think it's answerable - the OP isn't familiar with short-short and flash fiction, and needs some initial guidance of what to expect from stories of this length. I think they have their own unique characteristics - not absolutes, but common features or approaches.
    – Standback
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 6:40
  • @Stansback thanks, this is exactly what I meant ! I remeber a short short of Isaac Asimov when there was a final twist, I just wanted to know if is there's other known or usual ways of conceiving this kind of stories ?
    – Koblenz
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 9:54

2 Answers 2


In general, the best way to learn how to write something is to read a lot of it. Look for flash fiction. Look also for microfiction, short short stories, etc.

I write 100-word stories. They're fun. Typically I focus on a particular moment in time and do a lot of exposition about its causes and its effects. Then comes revision, where I trim it down, deleting adjectives, choosing verbs and nouns more precisely. I rarely waste words on dialog or descriptions unless they contribute directly to the moment.


If you're writing a story, regardless of length, then it has to have a plot and a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Character development and descriptions are less important here but should be enough to set the scene and give your reader a mental image of what they're "seeing"

In my opinion, 1000 words isn't that small a word count. I myself have seen stories starting from just 2 sentences (https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=2+sentence+horror+stories&oq=2+sentence+horror+stories).

I myself write a lot of 300 word flash fiction for http://www.writing.com which is always a challenge and really teaches you to chop and edit everything unnecessary to get a very tight but coherent story.

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