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Writing Flash Fiction: Pieces From the Past

Flash fiction writing: Which of the openings worked for you? Did you read any of these pieces to the end? Have you read or written flash fiction? Does writing flash fiction appeal to you?

Writing flash fiction solidified my foray into the publishing world. Writing flash fiction explodes your creative horizons, trains your imagination and your writing muscles because it is so unforgiving–such an absolute taskmaster. In the small body of a few hundred words, you can conjure a universe. It is a very specific art form, different from writing novels and short stories. Much closer to poetry in its emphasis on imagery and metaphor, and its ability to condense and expand space and time.

Now that I mostly focus on novels, I miss writing flash fiction. I read them often enough, and wanted to share a few of mine with you.

Here are a few of my previous attempts at writing flash fiction, some of them published in magazines, others I wrote for this blog.

Picasso Dreams

Jezebel owned a blue betta fish. She’d named him Moby Dick, hoping one day an Ahab would seek him, and find her instead.

Moby Dick swam about, flashing his colour, surfacing to check on Jezebel with his rotating eyes, begging for food from time to time. When he thought himself ignored, he curled up and moped at the bottom, behind a plastic rock and a lime green plant.

Moby Dick didn’t know Jezebel lived in a world of Picasso dreams or that she’d imagined him into being.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

Almost There, and Back Again

He sits right there next to her, nuzzling her neck, whispering half-drunken stories, not caring who’s looking, her husband’s friends, or his wife. Rob’s breath fans over her throat and ear, warming her against the light evening chill. She’s waiting for him to make a suggestion, can already hear it whisper within her. The world’s axis has tilted, she imagines the hum of bees who cannot sleep; in the back-garden around them obscene May tulips wilt, with their last, gold-dirty-musk smell mingling with barbecue fumes.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

Tripta’s Recipe: Fish Cooked in Mustard Sauce

My mother-in-law cooked pomfret fish in mustard sauce each Sunday.

That’s the way it had been in their family back in the remote village, she explained the first time I met her. Fish was the only delicacy they could afford. Cabbages on Monday, pumpkin on Tuesday, cauliflowers on Wednesday. I can’t remember the rest. She’d written down the recipes in a notebook. Tripta’s Treasure, it said in her running script, the only thing in the home that bore her name. Can’t find it now.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

In the Fox’s Parlour

We’ll meet outside the city at noon, wheelchairs clanking, and I’ll teach you how to make out with a fox. Foxes have longer tongues than women. They will reach into your throat, down to your stomach. They’ll extract your truth, pleasuring you the while.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

I Don’t Want him to Smell

Today is the third day, and the entire apartment has begun to smell.

“That’s him in there,” Ma says, but neither of us dare look in.

“This not City of Angels ah,” she parrots the one English movie she’s ever seen, “People die here and don’t come back. That’s him, I’m telling you.”

Read the rest of the story HERE.

A Spicy Chica

Buy yourself some black garbanzo beans. Soak ’em overnight. Well, eight to ten hours, at any rate. Then cook ’em till they’re soft. I don’t know, soft, like the insides of her elbow, or her nipples, man.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

That Sunshiny Morning

“It wasn’t her fault. The day was too gorgeous, Marta altogether too persuasive, the white swimsuit with black seams she had bought for herself the week before too flattering.

She had gone to the beach instead of staying home to tend to Charlie. Charlie had fever, yes, but it was summer fever, here today, gone tomorrow, and Charlie was a hearty boy.”

Read the rest of the story HERE.

Nemin

He slipped his name inside her pillowcase.

When she turned in her sleep, his name branded itself on her cheek, an invisible mark.
It leaked through her cheek into her mouth. She tasted him, and his name made its way to her stomach, became part of its lining.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

Which of the openings worked for you? Did you read any of these pieces to the end? Have you read or written flash fiction? Does writing flash fiction appeal to you?


My lit crime novel, The Blue Bar will be out this October with Thomas & Mercer. It is already available for preorders. Add it to Goodreads or pre-order it to make my day.
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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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14 Comments

  • shilpa says:

    Yes, Damyanti, I have read all of your flash pieces multiple times and some of these I know almost by heart 😛
    I love them all and you are the reason I started writing flash fiction. So, thank you for the inspiration!

    • DamyantiB says:

      Oh my! I’m truly honored that you find my flash pieces inspiring Shilpa. However, I don’t think I can take any credit, because you’ve always had the flair for it 😀

  • Sonia Dogra says:

    Hi Damyanti. I’ve only recently started with micro and flash fiction, doing a workshop as well. I’ve read some of your pieces and you are definitely one of the writers who inspired me to take up this form. Saving your post to savour your flash pieces one by one.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Sonia. I’m amazed that I inspired you in any way. I’m still a fledgling myself.

  • You are so versatile Damyanti.

  • JT Twissel says:

    This is a different more daring style for you! Bravo!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Jan. These are all old pieces. I love experimenting with flash fiction.

  • Thank you. I am a big, big fan of flash fiction (and it is all that I ever write). I will come back and explore these tempting pieces later when time is more on my side.

  • I did read all of them. They are all amazing

  • All of those sound good, Damyanti. I love the fish living in a digital world. But I also was grabbed by the rest.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Jacqui! That fish one was rejected everywhere, and then went on to be commended by judges for a nice award. Was possibly my 37th sub.

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