ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

An Introduction to Flash Fiction and Micro Fiction, With Examples

Updated on March 22, 2015
Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya is the author of "Amazing Alphabet" and "People's War in Nepal: Songs and Narratives From the Frontline."

Literary works are placed in different categories according to their contents, forms, styles, and substances. There are different kinds of literary words, for instance, poetry, drama, essay, novel, short story, flash fiction, biography, memoir etc. Amongst these different genres, flash fiction and micro fiction are recent developments.


Evolution and Development of Literary Genres

Poetry: Poetry is the oldest genre in literature. World’s oldest literary works – for instance Odyssey, Iliad, Mahabharata, Ramayana etc. – are written in poetry form. Even the theologies such as the Vedas, the Bible, and the Quran were written in poetry forms.

Drama: Drama evolved after poetry. However, in the beginning there was no segregation between drama and poetry because dramas were also written in poetry forms. Later playwrights began writing drama in prose forms. Some of the ancient dramatists are Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides etc.

Essay: Essay is also an ancient literary genre. Some of the anthologies of essays, which include history, biography, memoir etc. were written before common era. Some of the ancient essayists include Plato, Aristotle etc.

Novel: For thousands of years, poetry, drama and essay were the only recognized genres. Before 17th century, people did not know of novel.

Short Story: Short story, which is very popular literary genre in modern time, is relatively a new genre. Advent of short story is credited to the evolution of newspaper and magazines.

Flash Fiction: By the end of 20th century, a new literary genre developed. A very short short-story was named flash fiction.

Micro Fiction: Micro fiction is the latest trend in creative writing. Some critics do not segregate flash fiction and micro fiction, whereas some believe these two are distinct genres. Micro fiction are shorter in length compared to flash fiction.

What is Flash Fiction?

The oldest literary genre is poetry and the new age literary genre is flash fiction. Flash fiction is a story of very-very short length. It is similar to short story in terms of content, form and substance. The short story elements such as plot, dialogues, characterization, narrative, atmosphere, scene setting are also present in flash fiction; having said that flash fiction may not include every elements of short story (character development, plot, atmosphere, clear beginning, middle, ending etc.)

The major difference between short fiction (short story) and flash fiction is the length. A short story can be a story between two thousand to twenty thousand words, whereas flash fiction is usually less than 1500 words.

Critics have disagreement regarding the length of flash fiction. Some believe flash fiction can be up to 1500 words, while others say a flash fiction should always be below 400 words. Some critics use micro fiction for flash fiction, whereas some differentiate flash fictions and micro fiction as two distinct genres. Those who differentiate flash fiction and micro fiction say micro fictions are stories with couple of sentences and no more than 100 words.


What is Micro Fiction?

Sometimes flash fiction is also called micro fiction. However, some literary critics and scholars strongly object this and differentiate flash fiction and micro fiction. They define flash fiction as a story which is less than 1500 words and micro fiction as very-very short story in one or two short paragraphs.

Micro fiction is a very short story that is less than 100 words. Some believe micro fiction should be less than 50 words. Any sentence that can tell a story in one line is also a micro fiction.

Here is an example of micro fiction.

Once there lived a happy man in a hut, on the top of the hill. One day a woman made through the hill. The man was no more happy.

The aforementioned story contains 29 words and 3 sentences.

“The moment you ask ‘why’ you will be dead,” said God to the Angel.

“Why,” the angel asked.

And he was dead.

The aforementioned story contains 22 words and three sentences.

Note: The authors of these micro fictions are unknown.

Flash Fiction: Time Lapse

Spot surprises me by jumping on the bed. “I’m reading can’t you see,” I say not deigning to look from the book.

“I want to kill you,” I hear a husky voice.

I’m startled. I look away from the page, the door is locked from inside. I did not hear the voice, I try to rationalize. I take a deep breath.

“I want to kill you,” the voice says again.

“Who are you,” I want to say but my voice chokes. Spot is leaning over me, a dragger on his hand. “I want to kill you,” he says.

This is unbelievable. It’s a dream, it’s a dream…I try to rationalize, but I know it’s not a dream.

Spot stands on his hind limbs. Steel blade sparkles on his forelimb. My mouth hangs open.

Suddenly, Spot’s forelimbs land on my chest.

“I want to kill you,” Spot barks. It’s not a bark actually, he is speaking my language. I feel a terrible tearing on my chest. My voice stops inside my throat. I feel dog’s hair on my mouth.

It’s a dream, it’s a dream, I try to assure myself.

I see a pool of blood over me, my mind reels. I don’t know my eyes are opened or closed, but I see darkness everywhere. Am I losing my consciousness, I don’t know.

I hear noisy commotion. I try to gather myself. I must not sleep.

“Spot is such a wonderful animal,” a woman says.

Who is this woman, I want to look at her, but I cannot figure her out in the darkness.

“He just caught me on my leg and strained to Martha’s house. I did not understand him until I saw Martha lying unconscious in the kitchen.”

What’s she saying? “Spot tried to kill me,” I say. I don’t know if I uttered it loudly because I cannot hear my own voice.

“The burns will leave marks but she will be alright,” I hear a man’s voice.

“Thank God, the cooker did not burst over her face,” the woman says.

What is she saying, who is this woman. I don’t understand what’s going on. I’m losing my consciousness.

(The story contains 360 words.)

Little bit of self-promotion

People’s War in Nepal: Songs and Narratives From the Frontline
People’s War in Nepal: Songs and Narratives From the Frontline

People’s War in Nepal: Songs and Narratives From the Frontline is a collection of narrative poems and flash fictions set in Nepal during the time of People’s War (1996-2006). The stories and poems in this book tell the story of pain and suffering of the people at the hands of Communist Guerrilla and the Royal Nepalese Army.


Do you think flash fiction and micro fiction are same?

See results

© 2015 Vinaya Ghimire


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      3 years ago from Dubai

      Interesting and informative with great examples, voted up.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      3 years ago from USA

      I've never tried either genre but enjoy reading both.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile imageAUTHOR

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      3 years ago from Nepal

      Chitra, that's very true. Writers' just write their thoughts,emotions, knowledge and experiences, and the critics group the writings in to different genres.

      Jodah flash is very challenging genre because we have to tell an amazing story in few words.

      DDE, currently, flash fiction and micro fiction are becoming very popular.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You brought light to another topic and so different. A great thought and you shared a helpful hub.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Vinaya. I have recently developed an interest in writing flash fiction. This was helpful and interesting.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very interesting information about flash fiction and micro fiction writing forms.

      The information about evolution and development of literary genres is particularly interesting.

      We just keep writing, what pleases us without realizing what genres we usually follow.

      Thanks for sharing this vital information! Voted up and its good to see you back on HubPages.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile imageAUTHOR

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      3 years ago from Nepal

      Jackie, I am good. I had been busy with number of projects.

      Billy,yes there are popular genres, I am kind of fascinated

      Faith, I am really happy to be back. Thanks for reading

      Mckbirdbks, thanks for the warm welcome. You are good with novels.

      Frank, thanks for your warm welcome, I am happy to be back.

      B.Leekley, I have never sumitted my flash and micro fiction on web or print, I have to see the publications that accepts these genres.

      Ignugent, these two genres are getting popular these days.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Great hub. I find it very interesting. I am very grateful for the information you shared. It is really my first time to read about flash and micro fiction .

      Have a nice day! :-)

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      3 years ago from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA

      I might try those two fiction genres sometime. I know there are numerous online magazines that publish flash fiction. Is there a market for micro fiction? What are some publications -- paper or web-based -- that are seeking micro fiction submissions?

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      3 years ago from Shelton

      hey Vinaya good to see you as well and I hope u r doing well my friend.. thank you for the valuable information my friend

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Vinaya. hope you are well. I am not in the flash-fiction, micro-fiction camp. I understand the need for it as the world becomes less and less formal. Welcome back.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      3 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Vinaya,

      So good to see you here. I have never heard of micro flash fiction. Thank you for the insight.


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I've never tried them. Too busy writing novels. Good information, Vinaya. They are a popular genre these days.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Interesting info Vinaya. Great to see you and hope all is happy and well for you!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)