Creative Writing: Flash Fiction 1

Written for a KS3 English group, but can be easily adapted for any age. Can be used as a stand-alone session giving an introduction to flash fiction (short short stories) with or without the exercise, but was originally intended to be the first of three 1.5 hr sessions.

It starts with a look through some of the work of artist/photographer Cindy Sherman. Through her work, the students get to see how one ‘still’ creates an entire story. We then move on to think about what a short short story is and look at a couple of examples.

Prior to this session, the students need to pick one of the pictures listed in the session plan. They will need a copy of it to refer to during the session exercise should you be following the activity. The final aim of this series of sessions is to create a piece of flash fiction based on that picture.

These sessions are written with discussion in mind. I have put in a few questions to prod, but generally the session was about letting the students vocalise what they thought. Obviously, there is often no right or wrong answer as much is opinion based, but I have put some answers into the notes should the group be struggling for ideas, and to indicate the chain of thought that the session is built on.

There is a handout for the students to be able to read along with the flash fiction, as not every student can process a story aurally, and an example of the work written by one of the students who completed this series of sessions and exercises.

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