Flash fiction has roots going back to Aesop's Fables, and practitioners have included Bolesław Prus, Anton Chekhov, O. Henry, Franz Kafka, H.P.Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury and Lydia Davis. New life has been brought to flash fiction by the Internet, with its demand for short, concise works. A ready market for flash-fiction works is ezines; however, flash fiction is also published by many print magazines. Markets specializing in flash fiction include SmokeLong Quarterly, Every Day Fiction, and Flash Fiction Online. One type of flash fiction is the short story with an exact word count. Examples include 55 Fiction, the Drabble and the 69er. Nanofictions are complete stories, with at least one character and a discernible plot, exactly 55 words long. A Drabble is a story of exactly 100 words, excluding titles, and a 69er is a story of exactly 69 words, again excluding the title. The 69er was a regular feature of the Canadian literary magazine NFG, which featured a section of such stories in each issue. Short story writer Bruce Holland Rogers has written "369" stories which consist of an overall title, then three thematically related 69ers, each with its own title.
Short stories tend to be less complex than novels. Usually a short story focuses on only one incident, has a single plot, a single setting, a limited number of characters, and covers a short period of time. In longer forms of fiction, stories tend to contain certain core elements of dramatic structure: exposition (the introduction of setting, situation and main characters); complication (the event that introduces the conflict); rising action, crisis (the decisive moment for the protagonist and his commitment to a course of action); climax (the point of highest interest in terms of the conflict and the point with the most action); resolution (the point when the conflict is resolved); and moral.
Because of their length, short stories may or may not...