Hey writers! Another week, another bit of writing help. (Though not that anybody needs it here)
So far, I've talked about the basic tenents of flash fiction, concrete detail, and dialogue. These things are vitally important on a mechanical level. These are building blocks of the art of writing.
Today, I want to talk about something that is more important on a narrative level. This is more important to the craft of storytelling. What we're talking about here is conflict.
Conflict is what drives a story. It is the reason the protagonist is called to action, it is what makes the obstacles in his/her path difficult to overcome. Without conflict, there is no gravity in a story. When a story is just shits and giggles, there is no real substance.
The conflict doesn't need to be extreme, or even evident. But it does need to be there. The protagonist needs to want something, and that want must be challenged by the conflict.
Some basic examples:
She wants to get into an Ivy-league school, but she lacks the extracurriculars she needs to stand out.
He wants to bring peace to the world, but a dastardly villain stands in his path.
She wants to destroy the galaxy, but a starry-eyed fool of a 'hero' keeps thwarting her.
In all of these (very basic, awful) instances, the conflict is present; there is something that the protagonist is struggling against in pursuit of their goals. This is what adds depth to a story. When there is no struggle, no conflict, there is no real reason to care about the characters. If there is no danger, or threat of failure, it is hard to become invested in their 'quest', whatever that may be.
So, in all your writings, be sure to have an understanding of the conflict, and why it prevents the protagonist from accomplishing their tasks. Conflict drives stories, so it is one of the pillars of any good flash.