Mini-Class: Flash Fiction - How to Tell Pint Sized Stories

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0/10 stars
based on  15 reviews
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Cost $8/mo
Start Date On demand
Mini-Class: Flash Fiction - How to Tell Pint Sized Stories

Course Details

Cost

$8/mo

Skillshare offers a wide variety of free and Premium courses on creative skills, marketing and more.

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Upcoming Schedule

  • On demand

Course Provider

Skillshare online courses
In Skillshare’s unique philosophy, everyone is a teacher, and everyone is a learner. Rather than a traditional lecture format, courses are offered within a global online learning community in which learners collaborate and learn by doing. Instructors are industry leaders who share their skills with anyone who wants to learn. No credits are offered. Founded by online entrepreneurs Michael Karnjanaprakorn and Malcolm Ong, Skillshare’s online “campus” was launched in April 2011. Its catalog h...
In Skillshare’s unique philosophy, everyone is a teacher, and everyone is a learner. Rather than a traditional lecture format, courses are offered within a global online learning community in which learners collaborate and learn by doing. Instructors are industry leaders who share their skills with anyone who wants to learn. No credits are offered. Founded by online entrepreneurs Michael Karnjanaprakorn and Malcolm Ong, Skillshare’s online “campus” was launched in April 2011. Its catalog has grown from 15 to more than 250 online courses that cover creative arts, entrepreneurship, branding and marketing, lifestyle and technology. The School of MakeOurMark, with courses in photography, illustration and tattooing, was launched in October 2013, and the School of Design went live the following month. Among the instructors who have taught courses are Seth Godin, founder of online marketing firm Yoyodyne, who teaches a class on entrepreneurship; DJ Young Guru, who leads a course on mixing and recording; and actor, writer and director James Franco, whose course focuses on screenwriting for short films. You can begin a Skillshare collaboration by taking an introductory course in a particular area to learn, for example, the fundamentals of Photoshop and expand your knowledge with a five-part, in-depth Photoshop series.

Provider Subject Specialization
Arts & Design
Business & Management
32 reviews

Course Description

Limitations are liberating. Just ask the Oulipo, a group of literary daredevils that imposed rules on their writing in order to reveal a greater potential for literature. Flash fiction (very, very short stories) is the art of distillation, a form that challenges the writer to create an entire world in a very small space.

Constraining a narrative that feels as expansive as a novel into a mere 1,000 words or less isn't as impossible as it sounds. In fact, when flash fiction is working just right it's a window into a world that even a Proustian verbosity couldn't reveal. Writing flash fiction is a challenge that'll inform all of your writing and remind you just how powerful a few well chosen words can be. And in a day and age of 140 character tweets and 6 second Vines, when everyone seems to be complaining about waning attention spans, flash fiction is a centuries-old tradition that fits right into ...

Limitations are liberating. Just ask the Oulipo, a group of literary daredevils that imposed rules on their writing in order to reveal a greater potential for literature. Flash fiction (very, very short stories) is the art of distillation, a form that challenges the writer to create an entire world in a very small space.

Constraining a narrative that feels as expansive as a novel into a mere 1,000 words or less isn't as impossible as it sounds. In fact, when flash fiction is working just right it's a window into a world that even a Proustian verbosity couldn't reveal. Writing flash fiction is a challenge that'll inform all of your writing and remind you just how powerful a few well chosen words can be. And in a day and age of 140 character tweets and 6 second Vines, when everyone seems to be complaining about waning attention spans, flash fiction is a centuries-old tradition that fits right into our modern lifestyles.

This flash course is designed for aspiring writers, novelists, poets, playwrights, and anyone interested in writing with economy.

The class will be broken down into three quick sessions in which we'll look at examples of great flash fiction, consider how and why they work, learn some good writing habits, and investigate some outlets where you can read published (or submit your own) flash fiction. There will be three writing exercises, in you'll economize, condense, and create your own flash fiction stories.

You might not walk away with Hemingway's legendary 6-word story ("For Sale: baby shoes, never worn") but he didn't actually write that story anyway. What you will leave this class with is an appreciation of the short form, it's place in our lives, and how engaging with restraint can set your creativity free.

Examples: "OIF" by Phil Klay, "Seven Stories" by Alex Epstein, "Broke" by Aimee Bender, "Wings" by Ben Loory, "Gorillas" by Ben Loory, "How Things Have Actually Changed Since We Did Secede from the United States" by Ron Carlson

Artwork by David Polonsky for "Seven Stories" by Alex Epstein. Illustration © 2012 by David Polonsky.

Reviews 0/10 stars
15 Reviews for Mini-Class: Flash Fiction - How to Tell Pint Sized Stories

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Sarah Shahid profile image
Sarah Shahid profile image

Sarah Shahid

None/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 1 month ago
I found the resources provided by Benjamin Samuel to be really helpful. Platforms such as Gigantic deepened my interest in working on flash fiction as well as provided me outlets to test my writing. The challenges were well designed though I would have preferred more feedbacks on my project. I feel that the project I made was not my full capacity but I am confident that the video lectures will help improve my writing further.
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Scott Pollard profile image
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Scott Pollard

None/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 1 month ago
A great introduction in to creative writing and Flash Fiction. It's a subject I never thought of taking however this course is a great starting point for anybody. You should give it a go.
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Jessica Herrmann profile image
Jessica Herrmann profile image

Jessica Herrmann

None/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 1 month ago
Really good class. Loved doing the writing assignments.
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Sholonda Higgins profile image
Sholonda Higgins profile image

Sholonda Higgins

None/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 1 month ago
Had some great tips on Flash Fiction which I will be using in general since I am a writer who tends to never finish chapters because I write way too much and usually run out of words.
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Diana Thompson profile image
Diana Thompson profile image

Diana Thompson

None/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 1 month ago
This was a very thought provoking class- well explained and great examples! Thank you for the excellent videos!
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Joe M. profile image
Joe M. profile image

Joe M.

None/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 1 month ago
Quick, fun, challenging.
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Christina
Christina

Christina "Mina" Smith

None/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 1 month ago
What a great class. The videos and reading were informative. What a great use of $10! I have trouble with writing too much, being too wordy, and I feel the readings and writings from this class will help me to cut down on my word usage. Hopefully this will prevent long rambling stories that I have to cut way down on! I think some of the concepts that are covered could have been explained a little better; I think there should be more resources on what "Killing your Darlings," and other things like that are all about. Having experience with writing classes, and being a long-time listener of Writing Excuses (which I whole heatedly recommend), I already knew what these concepts meant. Awesome class overall, and would recommend to ANYONE who loves to write!
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Nedra Weinreich profile image
Nedra Weinreich profile image

Nedra Weinreich

None/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 1 month ago
This felt like a flash version of a class, with only the minimal amount of guidance. I did learn from the three videos and feel I understand the genre better now. But if you weren't already a good writer before, this class won't help you with that. I thought the best thing about this class is that it gave me a good reason to take time out to do some writing in a format that fits with my schedule and is not too daunting. I enjoyed the experience.
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Debra L. Eder profile image
Debra L. Eder profile image

Debra L. Eder

None/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 1 month ago
I felt like a legit writer taking the Flash Fiction class with Benjamin Samuels, co-Editor of Electric Literature. I liked the reference to tropes and his breakdown of story types that was somehow not reductive. Most of all I appreciated his "approachability" (a quality that came through even in video). I also want to give a shout-out (or suck-up if you're cynical) to Electric Literature's "Recommended Reading".
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Angela G. profile image
Angela G. profile image

Angela G.

None/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 1 month ago
Great class.
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Laura Foreman profile image
Laura Foreman profile image

Laura Foreman

None/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 1 month ago
Great class!
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Matthew Breit profile image
Matthew Breit profile image

Matthew Breit

None/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 1 month ago
Awesome class for an awesome art form that I had never really heard of. I think every writer should probably take this, if for no other reason that a great creative challenge. The readings are worth it alone, Ben provides great high quality videos and the community of students were great and produced some great works.
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Joe Fairless profile image
Joe Fairless profile image

Joe Fairless

None/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 1 month ago
This is a fun class. The student projects are entertaining and overall I enjoyed myself. I like the concept of flash fiction (which I had never heard of prior to this class) and think the skills used to write it also apply to the biz world. Good stuff.
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Deborah Boyd profile image
Deborah Boyd profile image

Deborah Boyd

None/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 1 month ago
Loved this class! Always thought of writing fiction, But didn't know if I was capable of doing so. Thanks for the confidence boost!
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Christine Valentine profile image
Christine Valentine profile image

Christine Valentine

None/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 1 month ago
I loved this class! Benjamin Samuel gives clear instructions while encouraging and challenging readers to write distilled and devastating works of micro fiction. Excellent instruction and strong community engagement, highly recommended.
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Rating Details


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  • 1 stars
  • 5 stars
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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.