View Full Version : Overly sudden fiction

05-28-2008, 05:54 AM
Maybe this is a problem that has been addressed before, maybe not. How much explanation (as a general rule) should be involved in a short-short story? I guess that's kind of vague, but I'm running into a problem here. A lot of the flash fiction I've written relies on the reader to fill in some lines, or accept that some questions aren't going to be answered, but I don't want it to sound incomplete. General feedback on my flash on other forums is that I should expand them into full-fleged short stories, because my ideas are too big or I'm crowding them. Thoughts? Advice? Anybody in the same boat who wants to help me paddle?

05-28-2008, 06:15 AM
Honestly, I think all fiction relies on the reader to fill in some lines. If people respond to the story, however long or short - to me, that's what makes it a success.

However, if you're getting the same advice over and over, perhaps you should write longer.

On the other hand - you could just ask different people for advice...

William Haskins
05-28-2008, 06:29 AM

05-28-2008, 06:49 AM
the thing to remember is that the shorter the story, the briefer the moment of time it deals with should be. If your story feels too crowded, maybe you can shorten its time frame. Cut out all backstory. It is not needed. Deal with that short time, that second, that minute of the actual epiphany or permanent change. Just that. Let the actual action be character development. We only need to know those things about the character that are pertinent to that moment in time. Maybe in a novel, as writer, you need to know the character's favourite icecream (although i disagree with that) but in a short-short there's no time, no room. You don't have a steamer trunk. You only have a little purse. Fill it with only the necessities.

05-28-2008, 01:43 PM
Mumbling sage have you got a example of one of your stories I can take a look and give my opinion? Personally I prefer fiction that leaves a little something for the reader to think about, especially with flash fiction. Done well it can certainly leave a lasting impression if the right questions are left unanswered.

05-28-2008, 06:39 PM
Hi, over in the horror SYW section of this forum is a 100 word flash fiction challenge and right now they have over 135+ stories. Take a trip over there and read them. The 100 words include the title and full story.

05-29-2008, 12:39 AM
Cath: Thanks for your comprehensive answer (and the addendum *goes looking for new advisors*)

Will Haskins: Good link. I'll keep it in mind.

Nevada: Right. I only worry that sometimes I cut too much...

Darklite: 'Mercy' in the 'Other' SYW section on these forums has gotten especially mixed reviews from other sites I've posted it on. Of all my flashes, that's the one that keeps me up most at nights, since it's mainstream and I mostly write fantasy. I'm out of my element and fear that it shows in faulty exposition.

Cactuswedy: I'll be there or be square! I guess 135 examples is all a girl could want, right? :D