"What is Flash!points?"

Flash!, a guide to writing very short stories is full of writing exercises, examples, and prompts to get you writing your own short-short stories. I’ve been asking folks to send us their results. You can contribute as well by sending your stories to me at and maybe you’ll see your story online! You can get your copy of the book here.



Metal Pipes Tied to the Roof of Trucks

J.J. White


Because Cara Fisher had a laugh like a machine gun. Because she liked to talk about children. Because her mother made lasagna from scratch. Because the sun reflected off her tan breasts. Because her father liked me. Because she urged me to apply for college. Because she was the only girl who said yes. Because she kissed me like I wasn’t her brother. Because she was young. Because I said we needed to see others in college. Because life is too goddamn short. Because when the truck stopped suddenly, the metal pipes flew into the back window of her car.


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J. J. White has been published in several literary journals and magazines, including, The Homestead Review, The Seven Hills Review, The Grey Sparrow Journal, Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, and The Saturday Evening Post 2016 and 2018 anthologies. His has had three novels published by Black Opal Books. He was recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize for his short piece, “Tour Bus.” He lives in Merritt Island, Florida.


Fill in the Blank: Why I’m Afraid of ________.  Now write twelve or so sentences beginning with Because . . .   Here’s J.J.: My Because exercise is mostly taken from a real-life experience. An imagination is necessary to write poignant, compelling prose, but I also think using actual experiences from the writer’s life, true stories they hear from others, and even current events, elicits emotion from the reader, which I think should be the writer’s ultimate goal.



Here’s one for you to try: FLASH DRIVE. Your short-short story takes place in a car or a pickup or an RV. On the road—the great American myth, the romance of the highway. Your central character is driving. He’s alone or with a companion or with several. What does he see out the window? In the rear-view mirror? The radio is on. What’s he listening to? Where is he going? Why there? What is the promise at the end of the road? What’s the weather like? What time of day is it? Is there trouble up ahead? Tension in the car? How much gas is left in the tank?