Flash Fiction Prompts | 10 Ideas To Get Your Started

6 Flash Fiction Prompts From Lore

flash fiction prompts

When it comes to writing flash fiction it can be difficult to find a subject or topic to write about. Writing a compelling piece of flash fiction story between 100 words and 1000 words can vastly depend on what you write about. So, if you are struggling, use these flash fiction prompts below to aid in the creative process.

Remember, good flash fiction works within the word count boundaries of the literary type. Going over 1,000 words is fine but at that point you are leaning into short story territory. Try to stick to what is defined as flash fiction and see the word count as a challenge. It will force you to tell your story in a more succinct way which, oftentimes, is more difficult that other literary forms.

There's always a story to tell and you just need to figure out how to tell it.

Object Flash Fiction Prompts

Objects are a good way to get a story started or to flesh out the details of your story, so the first two prompts will find their focal point around objects. But how can thinking about an object or writing about an object lead to the development of a flash fiction?

Well, you could try:
  • 1: Telling the story of an item.
This is a unqiue way for you to explore writing without writing from a human perspective. Humans have emotions, we feel and love and hate. These are brilliant drivers for storytelling and so removing these aspects of the human condition forces you to be creative with your storytelling.

Why not tell the story of where a leaf goes after falling from a tree? Using this unique point of view can really open up all kinds of possibilities and opportunities to write differently. 

Alternatively, you could:
  • 2: Illustrate how crucial to your character's story and object is.
This is another great way to use an object as a spring board into a story. Maybe a fallen tree has blocked a road causing your character to go a different way to work. What happens? What if they'd never taken that route? 

This is a distinct but effective way to work in a kind of butterfly effect for your flash fiction. Maybe your story is about how to lovers meet and the fallen tree was crucial to helping them meet?

But these are just some basic ideas that you can consider when writing your story. Have fun with it and see what you can come up with when using object prompts in your creative writing. 

Flash Fiction Writing Prompts About Time Travel

Time travel is a great idea for stories and doesn't absolutely need to fit into the hardcore sci fi genres. It is often the case that time travel is used as a plot device rather than being a focal point that drives the story itself.

Even if you don't like sc fi you can use time travel as a way to create very interesting dynamics in your fictional writing. It doesn't all have to be all about riding hoverboards like Marty McFly or fighting alien threats like The Doctor.

You could always try:
  • 3: Waking up in a different time era.
Write the story about yourself. What if you woke up during the times of the Wild West? Or if you found yourself stuck in the middle of the Blitz. How would you react? How would you cope? Because we are writing flash fiction we need to stray away from the 'how did I get here?' and, 'how do I get home?' questions. 

These are great questions to drive longer literary forms such as short stories, novellas, or full length novels but when you write a story that is fairly compact.

Try focusing more on the actuality of the situation and reality you woke up in. Let the reader feel that fear, panic, anxiety, and wonder. Take them on an emotional journey. Writing a flash is about capturing a few moments of a bigger story and telling them as best as you can.

Another time travel flash fiction writing prompt to try could be:
  • 4: Getting a message about the future. 
This kind of idea can create a lot of expectations and build up upon anticipation of what is going to happen, which is a great way to subvert reader expectations in a way that satisfies. The old 'I never saw that coming' chesnut is what you want to envoke with this kind of flash - but in a good way.

This kind of prompt is brillaint for throwing your reader into the middle of the action, and then just running with it. See where it takes you and as a last piece of advice, don't worry about the why and how of the time travel!

Emotive Flash Fiction Prompts

For the last two flash fiction prompts on this list, I want to focus and hone in on emotive prompts. These kinds of prompts are great for writing stories that resonate with your reader in some way, shape, or form.

This is obviously a more niche way or writing but obviously 'emotive' could mean a whole host of things. What I mean by emotive prompts is to write with emotion as the core driving principle of the story.

These kinds of stores can be used to show the microcausm of how small details and small changes in our day to day lives can impact us. This can be illustrated by focusing on an emotive event that contributes to a characters overall development in the larger scale story. For example, how this emotive event helps in a character's redemption arc.

You could try:
  • 5. Writing the whole flash about a conversation.
Nobody said you need to write descriptively, set a scene, and have some action in there. Why not keep it simple and write about a conversation. It could be anything! Maybe you are writing from the perspective of a boss having to fire an employee. How are they feeling about it? What are their fears and needs driving the conversation? How does the employee take it?

But this is just one type of conversation. There are so many others out there. You could write about a LGBTQIA+ character coming out, or about someone taking a prayer in their own space. Have a think, get creative, and see what you come up with.

You could also try:
  • 6. Writing as if your character is experiencing an emotion for the first time.
The why and how they are experiencing this emotion for the first time isn't really important. What is important is your description of it. Delve deep and really try to explain what they are going through. What are they thinking? How do they react? How do they cope? 

By exploring this very human element that is vital in any story you can not only write awesome fiction, but delve deeper into your own emotions. It can further your own emotional understanding of the human condition.

To Conclude

Writing a flash piece is not an easy feat - it is one of the harder literary forms to get right. So, if you are a new writer reading this or haven't written in a while, don't get too discouraged if you are struggling with writing flash stories.

Keep at it and you'll progress - even if it is slower than you'd like. For more inpsiration you can take a look at the flash fiction we publish.

flash fiction prompts from lore publication