· If using adjectives and adverbs is the cardinal sin of writing, then flash fiction helps you eliminate them and forces you to find ways of conveying your meaning without using too many descriptive words. If you have only got 300 to use, you want to make sure each one counts.
· It helps bring clarity. You have a story to tell, ideas to get across, points of view you want to share. You have to get rid of all the waffling, rambling and going around the long way. For a complete story you still need a beginning, middle and end, so you need to strip out all the unessential elements and get on with it.
· This stripping out also means ditching characters, too much scene setting, and any dialogue that does not add to the plot. The ‘KISS’ principle reigns supreme; to tell your story in so few words you have to keep it as simple as possible.
· You need to wrap the story up with a decisive last line. It is too easy with so few words to leave a story hanging and not give your readers an ending that satisfies them.
· Flash fiction poses a new challenge every time. You are given a theme, a word count and you have to produce a piece of writing in set time period. Challenges can be scary but they push us out of our fur-lined writing ruts and test us to think differently about what we are doing and write on topics we would usually avoid at all costs.
.· Writing flash fiction gives you the opportunity to have a long, hard look at the bad writing habits you have gotten into. What words do you habitually overuse? Do you have certain phrases or expressions that creep into every piece you write, whether they are appropriate or not? In these very short stories, there is no place for your writing ‘comfort blankets’. They have to be discarded to crisp up your story and let it be told within the word limit.