(Editor’s Note: This post was first published on 17 May 2014.)
I read The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon years ago when it was first published and I truly enjoyed it. The Mysteries of Pittsburgh was a well-written, straight forward first novel and at the time of the book’s publication, the author was a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. All of this took place around the time that I was a 50-something-year-old undergrad in the writing program at the same university.
I was thinking about The Mysteries of Pittsburgh today and I thought, wow, The Mysteries of Flash Fiction would make for a good blog post. What are the mysteries of flash fiction?…
In my view, one of the biggest mysteries of flash fiction is that if a writer is good enough and lucky enough, a reader will not feel cheated after reading the story. This, my friends, is huge. After all, we’re talking about a story that might run for only around 600, 700, 800 or so words. What can a writer say in so few words?
The answer is the writer can say a lot and he or she must say enough and not a word more. This is an ideal and it is easier to say it than it is to do it; because a flash fiction story is made up of many elements that the writer has to form into a smoothly working whole. We’re talking about exposition, description, characterization, scene, narrative movement, beginning, middle and resolution, diction and syntax, subtext…We can go on and on, and all these elements create their own synergy and in the best flash fiction all the elements form a seamless whole.
The reader must feel that everything he or she needs to know is in the story and that the resolution is honestly earned. This is one of the great mysteries of the best flash fiction.
Hello, all my brother and sister readers and writers of erotic flash fiction. The sun has finally broken through the clouds and the Old Soldier is thinking about putting down On the Road and hitting the streets. Keep reading and keep writing that erotic flash fiction.
This is the Old Soldier reporting for the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction, a different kind of online erotic magazine for adults. Follow or sign up for your free email subscription today.