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Flash Fiction Vs Short Stories - what's the difference?

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I've looked it up and I still don't understand what the basic difference is between Flash Fiction and Short Stories.

 

Can anyone help?

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There used to be a 500 word monthly competition on this forum; that I would describe as flash fiction. Once you're up to a few thousand words, you're into the realms of short stories. In very general terms, short stories will range over a thousand to a few tens of thousands of words, although some people would describe this sort of length as a novella.

 

I suppose I would also say that short stories are recognisably stories, in that they begin, they have a middle and an end. Flash fiction seems to be characterised by not following that convention, but that's only a very limited observation. What's the context?

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