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Discussions > Invisible elementss in flash fiction

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message 1: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Bergquist (Elizabeth_Bergquist) | 4 comments So much to do in so little space! Flash fiction seems an excellent place to practice techniques that leave the reader guessing, reading between the lines, and imagining. What are some of your strategies and techniques to engage and intrigue the reader while saving words?


message 2: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jessicalynxo) For those who don't know, Elizabeth, why don't you try explaining flash fiction? Most of our members probably haven't heard of it before, but would be interested if they did!


message 3: by Abhishek (new)

Abhishek Dey | 3 comments I agree with jessica,
please let us know how it is supposed to be.


message 4: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Bergquist (Elizabeth_Bergquist) | 4 comments Flash fiction is stories of a 100 - 1000 words. Because there's so little space, many details found in longer stories are only hinted at or left to the readers' imagination.


message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jessicalynxo) Elizabeth wrote: "Flash fiction is stories of a 100 - 1000 words. Because there's so little space, many details found in longer stories are only hinted at or left to the readers' imagination."

Wow, telling a story in so little words isn't only a challenge--it's impressive that so many people can pull it off.

Definitely one of my tactics is to (obviously) leave them hanging in the end. Leave the story on a cliffhanger and let them form their own conclusions.


message 6: by Peter (new)

Peter  Drummond  (turningasher) | 2 comments I always thought the endings had to have a certain finality to them, otherwise what's already short also feels incomplete.

That's why I struggle so much with making my flash fiction endings compelling. Especially since the easy finality is to kill the main character in the end.


message 7: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 6 comments I've discovered (the hard way) that many readers don't like open endings, even in flash fiction. I still enjoy writing it, though.


message 8: by Dwayne (new)

Dwayne Fry | 41 comments I'm actually working on a project right now where I'm writing a short book of flash fiction. None of the stories are open ended. Because they are humorous pieces, I've been structuring them like long jokes.


message 9: by Renee E (new)

Renee E | 49 comments I like using the writing of flash fiction (or short-shorts as it's sometimes called) to hone my writing. The parameters force you to distill your story, to be precise.

The precision, distillation, are the elements I think I look for most when I'm reading flash fiction. It can all go wrong so easily, the distilled result can be rough and ragged, rotgut whiskey, or so smooth you don't see or feel its kick until it's put you on your ass.

And, on the subject of open endings, one of the best loved novels of all time ends that way . . . "After all, tomorrow is another day." (Gone With the Wind).

Nothing wrong with a good story that leaves you wondering — and pondering.


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