Flash Fiction can trace its legacy back thousands of years.  Why not tap into some of these traditions and create stories from them?

Mythology - Taygetos - Greece © by John Prassas


Perhaps the oldest form of flash fiction is the myth. All cultures have some sort of myths that attempted to explain the world around them and the origins of things within it. Take an old myth and retell it in a modern day setting.

Word/Phrase Origins

Ever wonder where some of those old sayings or idiomatic phrases came from? There are great stories behind many of them and often are great places to launch a new story from…

Urban Legends

Urban legends have been fooling people, many of them very smart people, for years. There are many websites devoted to them. Ever wonder where they came from? A great place to start is Snopes.com.  Look through the listings, find one that appeals to you and write.

Here is a classic sketch at College Humor.com about what happens when all of those legends come to life at a local hospital. WARNING: Bad language and some sexual references… Probably NSFW, but it is still pretty funny.
Urban Legend ER

Ghost Stories

These are fun around a campfire and perfect for flash fiction. With all of the ghost and paranormal investigation shows popular on cable television these days, a good ghost story can be a just what a flash fiction reader is looking for.  Are there any notable haunted legends or stories in your area?  Check them out and retell the story in a flash fiction piece.

Fables and Nursery Rhymes

These are some of the earliest flash fiction stories that we are exposed to as children.  Disney has been mining this gold-mine for decades now. Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Aesop’s Fables are fantastic resources for flash fiction. Take a fable and give it a modern day or far-future twist.

Check out the University of Pittsburgh’s Grimm Brothers’ Home Page for all of the history of, and tales written by, the Grimm Brothers. For Nursery Rhymes, check out this page filled with the history surrounding nursery rhymes and the lyrics of the rhymes themselves.


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